And Making Them > *.iy
Roy S. Djurstine
Durstine, Roy S. jp<^ j
Making Advertisements and i^lakin^
IT. era Pay
J. V/ ALTER THOMPSON CO
I WALTER r,ON CO.
AND MAKING THEM PAY
To aD Gentlemen, Bookfeners, and others.
At the Houfe v»th Stcne-Steps and Safb-TViadows^
in Hanover-Q)urr, in Grape-Screcr, nmlgarlj
Livcth an AUTHOR,
TITH O Writcth all manner of Books and Pam-
^^ phlets, in VeHc or Profe, at Reafonablo
Rates: And furnifhetbi at a Minute*s Warning,
any CuQomer with Elegies, Pailorals, Bpitbalami-
urns, and Congratulatory Verfes adapted to all man*
ncr of Feribns and ProfeiSons, readv written, with
Blanks to infert the Names of the Parties Ad*
He fupplieth Gentlemen Bell-JNlen with Verfes
on all Occa£on$, at iid, the Dozen, or io5. the
Crofs) and teacheth them Accent and Prononcia*
He taketh any £de of a Quedion, and wrlteth
(or or againfl, or both, if required.
He likewifb draws up Advertifements, and af*
perfes after the neweft Method.
Hewriteth for thofewho cannot write themtelves,
yet are ambitious of being Authors ^ and will, if
required, enter into Bonds never to own the Per*
He tranfmogriHeth^ aUa$ tranimigrapheth any
Copy^ and tnaketh many Titles to one Work»
a6er the manner of the famous Mr. iS— — C— ^—
K*B. Hc.is ccme down from the Gamt to the firfi
Floor ^ for the Conveniettee of bis Cufiomers*
f^ ^ay tmjhake not theHoufe 5 Ucaufeihert^aFe
mat^ Pretenders tberdahouts.
No Truft by Retake
Was hf the first advertising agent ?
And Making Them Pay
Roy S. Durstine
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
Copyright, 1920, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
Published September, 1920
Reprinted November, 1920
THE SCRIBNER PRE89
I. Making an Advertisement . . . . i
II. Which Comes First — Copy or Illustration? 17
III. Getting Out of the Rut 37
IV. Atmosphere . . . • 65
V. Sincerity 87
VI. Common Sense 117
VII. The Great Mystery — Merchandising . .131
VIII. Lifting Dead Weight 155
IX. The Right Word in the Right Place . . 175
X. The Campaign 197
XL Ideas on Idea Advertising .... 219
XII. Where Is Advertising Going? .... 235
MAKING AN ADVERTISEMENT
MAKING AN ADVERTISEMENT
Advertising came into the world because
men were too impatient to wait for Mrs. Jones to
tell Mrs. Smith that Brown's pickles were good
to eat. Brown discovered that he could tell two
million Mrs. Smiths and Mrs. Joneses about his
pickles and that he could sell a lot more pickles
that way than by waiting for the news to leak
out by itself.
'' But," said Brown's partner, " I believe in
" So do I," agreed Brown. " But it takes too
" What I mean is this," his partner went on.
" If Mrs. Jones tells Mrs. Brown, she'll believe
it. If we tell her, she'll think we are trying to
put something over."
"That depends on how we tell her," said
"Well," said his partner doubtfully, ''we
might get my nephew to write some advertise-
ments for us. He's a clever boy. He used to
write squibs for the high school paper."
" But what makes you think he can write ad-
*' He's no good at anything else."
*' Say, listen!" Brown exclaimed. '' There's
more in this business of advertising than you
'' Shucks! Stringing sentences together and
maybe finding somebody to draw a picture."
^' How do you suppose the pickle business
looks from the outside? Putting young cucum-
bers together in a glass jar and finding somebody
to buy them! "
'^ Oh, that's different," declared his partner.
" So is advertising! I'm going to find some-
body who knows as much about making adver-
tisements as we know about making pickles.
And then I'm going to get him to tell Mrs.
Smith about our pickles so naturally that she
will think Mrs. Jones is doing the talking. I'm
sick of waiting. These talks over the back fence
are all very well, but Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Smith
are too busy these days to devote much time to
gossiping about our pickles. And, besides,
there are too blamed many back fences! "
Making an Advertisement
To judge by the looks of the magazines and
newspapers, there must have been conversations
of this sort in a great many factories in the past
Never was there a year in which so many
people have said, ^' Oh, are you in the advertis-
ing business ? That must be fascinating work ! "
Bright-eyed young men and women come into
advertising agencies with letters of introduction
and say they want to go into advertising. Some-
times they want to work for nothing — ^' just to
get started." Usually they call it a game —
which it isn't.
When you ask why they have selected the ad-
vertising business, they usually have one or both
of two reasons. First, it must be very interest-
ing. They always have been students of adver-
tising and they have written lots of advertise-
ments themselves — just to compare with the
ones in the magazines; the inference being that
they liked their own much better.
Second, they understand that there is a great
deal of money in advertising. When they are re-
minded that there is also a great deal of money
in engineering and insurance and medicine and
store-keeping and any other business or profes-
sion in which a person gets a thorough training
and works hard, then it appears that the re-
wards in advertising apparently come more
swiftly and with less effort.
More swiftly, perhaps. For, unfortunately the
time has not yet arrived when a regular course
in college is assumed to be preliminary to ad-
vertising as it is to medicine, the law and the
ministry, and as it is coming to be to architecture
and accounting. There are already a number
of courses in advertising, ranking high in edu-
cational value, but too few aspirants take ad-
vantage of them. They prefer to go into adver-
tising through the employees' entrance of an
agency or of a manufacturer's advertising de-
partment. And though the entrance may be
swift, progress is often too slow for lack of a
grasp of what the business is all about.
But, however swiftly rewards may come, they
do not arrive without effort. And if there is
any purpose in this book it is merely to give some
idea of what happens in advertising beside
" stringing sentences together and finding some-
body to draw a picture."
It is easy to understand the increased interest
in advertising in the past few years. Never was
JVHAT is news?
Some think news is just infor-
mation about the outside worlcL
But advertising, too, is news.
It is information that may be
of personal moment.
A paper without advertising
is but half a newspaper.
Marshall Field 8C Company
advertisements bear the value of
// you don't believe that people regard advertising as news, watch your
wife read next Sunday'' s newspapers. The merchants of the country have
come to realize that they must make their advertising as truthful and as in-
teresting as any other part of the paper. For it is business news.
8 Making Advertisements
there a time when advertising has advertised
advertising so effectively. The very volume of
it has been insistent and impressive. People
who never have spoken about it, who perhaps
have not been conscious of advertising ever be-
fore in their lives, are commenting on the amount
of advertising that comes to them with their
reading matter. Today more and more people
are admitting, though sometimes still reluc-
tantly, that advertising has changed their habits.
A few years ago it was common to hear a man
boast that advertising had never sold him any-
thing. Inquiry probably would have developed
that he was awakened by a Big Ben, shaved him-
self with a Gillette, brushed his teeth with a Pro-
phylactic tooth brush, put on his B. V. D.'s, his
Holeproofs, Regal shoes, E. & W. collar and Ar-
row shirt, and had Kellogg's corn flakes. Beech-
nut bacon, and Yuban coffee sweetened with
Domino sugar, for breakfast. And then — but
why pursue him further on his trade-marked
way? Of course advertising never sold him any-
The only man who can say that advertising
doesn't sell him anything these days is one who
shuts himself up in a cage in the heart of an
Making an Advertisement
African jungle. And even he would probably
find that most of his camping supplies were ad-
Advertising's part in the war has had much to
do with the increased interest in it. People
could look around them and see how they and
their friends were eating less and saving more,
changing their habits of working, buying, dress-
ing, living and even thinking, all because of ad-
vertising. They became intimately acquainted
with nations whose names weren't in the old
geographies. America's provincialism was
At least three other factors, comparatively
slight in themselves, perhaps, but forceful, have
had a part in bringing advertising forward.
Artists whose names are widely known as illus-
trators of stories and originators of magazine
covers have been put to work by advertisers al-
ways seeking to improve their advertisements.
People have recognized their work and have
commented upon it. That has been a factor.
Then, advertising representatives have cov-
ered the field of manufactured products so inten-
sively in the past few years that a very large
number of business men have heard the story of
lo Making Advertisements
advertising applied to their own businesses, at
And a third factor, perhaps, has been the
greater amount of advertising about advertising
— campaigns in the leading newspapers by
agencies who believe in it so much that they take
their own medicine, and such broad-gauged, far-
sighted campaigns as the publishers have spon-
But of course the greatest reason has been
simply this: Industry has faced the problem of
getting back to a peace basis as rapidly and eco-
nomically as possible. Merchandise has been
produced in greater volume than was ever
dreamed. As a nation we have set for our-
selves new standards of volume and quality in
production. Trade channels half filled by
the silt of war had to be dredged for the naviga-
tion of business. Advertising was the steam
Many trade-marks w^ere kept before the pub-
lic even when their owners had nothing to sell in
wartime, and now the keen judgment of those
who regarded advertising as insurance is being
rewarded. But a greater number were allowed
to drop out of sight. Dealers took up other
Where the word
''Victrola" came from
The tvofd **\^ctrola** was msde vtp by cotn*
bining a portion of the word Victor yvish a
portion of the word **viola*\
It was originated and trade-marked for the
specific purpose of distinguishing products of
the Victor Talking Machine Company.
The word **Victrola" is a trade-mark fully
protected by registration in the United States
Patent Office. Its use or application to other
than Victor products is not only misleading^
but it is against the law*
■CO. u. ». r»i. or*.
Vleagb xvn. tteoite MU
Victor Talking Machine Company
Camden, New Jetsey
The word Victrola is a name which the powerful advertising of F. Wallis
Armstrong has made invulnerable.
12 Making Advertisements
lines. And the rush back to the good will of the
trade and the public has been inevitable and the
shortest cut has been — as it always will be —
The man who makes a reliable product, who
has an adequate sales force capable of putting
his merchandise into the hands of dealers every-
where — such a man knows that his sale is not
completed until he has made room on the retail
merchants' shelves for more merchandise from
Eventually the public will buy a good product
even without advertising. But most American
business men are not content to wait. They pre-
fer to invest their own money in telling the pub-
lic why their merchandise is good. They know
that if they tell their story simply, truthfully,
naturally, they will do a much greater volume of
business than they would if they kept quiet.
And they know that their printed messages to
the public are the most important phase of their
For no matter how smoothly their channels
of distribution may be arranged, no matter how
attractive their sales policy may be to retail
merchants, if the public isn't interested and con-
Making an Advertisement 13
vinced by their advertisements, their advertising
These are the really significant reasons for the
increased volume of advertising. But there is
another cause which has received attention out
of all proportion to its actual importance, par-
ticularly from people who pride themselves on
their own astuteness and are always quick to be-
lieve that somebody is trying to put something
over. That is the idea that the gain is caused by
the excess profits tax; that an advertiser prefers
to put into advertising a great share of what he
would otherwise have to pay in taxes.
No doubt there are advertisers who have been
impelled by this motive, just as there are prob-
ably advertisers who have lavished unnecessary
improvements upon their plants simply to get a
run for their money.
But to say that the increase in advertising is
caused by the tax alone is as absurd as it is un-
just to the advertising business. The advertis-
ing man who would urge the tax as a reason for
advertising would be in the position of the un-
dertaker who urged a friend to smoke himself
to death in order to collect enough coupons to
get a coffin.
14 Making Advertisements
No doubt there will soon be advertisers who,
either through their own mistaken ideas of econ-
omy or through unwise advice, will presently
emerge from a headlong advertising campaign
only to discover that advertising does not pay.
They will be the ones who spent money for ad-
vertising without regard for the proper safe-
guards of production, distribution and market-
Yet even these advertisers will probably be
forced to admit that even their extravagant and
ungoverned way of advertising has left for them
a residue of good will and enhanced respect
which they have never felt before. And a cer-
tain number of these plungers will take a lesson
from their experience; they will say to them-
selves that if such senseless advertising as they
have used can prove its value, there must be some-
thing in it after all — something which they never
suspected when they decided to have their fling
and let the publisher pay the piper. In these
cases, the net of an advertising debauch will be the
creation of a few rational advertisers, after all.
There will be another worth while effect, too.
Suppose, in a certain line of business, only one
manufacturer takes the spendthrift attitude to-
Making an Advertisement 15
ward advertising. When his competitors see
that his advertising appropriation is suddenly
expanding, they too will be apt to put on added
But not being the spendthrift type, they will
increase more cautiously and with better judge-
ment. So the effect will be that their advertising
development will be quickened and they will be
much further along the road to success than they
would have been if their joy-riding competitor
had not administered an artificial stimulus.
At its worst, therefore, this tax phase of adver-
tising will unquestionably create many sound
new advertisers who never would have known
advertising's advantages if it had not been for
this rapid though questionable introduction to it.
But it should be remembered that this whole
discussion of the relation of the tax to advertis-
ing is almost entirely confined to the amateur
advertiser and to those who are entirely unac-
quainted with the advertising business. Among
ethical advertising men who are looking at busi-
ness in terms of the future and at advertising as
a constructive force, nothing could be more sui-
cidal than recommending the unrestrained ex-
penditure of large sums which could not pos-
1 6 Making Advertisements
sibly show a proper return. No matter what
the original incentive, whether it is saving
money or making sales or making good will,
when his advertising appropriation is once spent
an advertiser invariably looks around him and
asks, " What did I get for my money? '^ And
he is entitled to know and to have something to
Realizing this and appreciating, too, that the
unwise spending of money under any pretext is
opposed to the permanent good of advertising,
the farsighted men of the business have consist-
ently refused to help the tax-evader and have
discouraged his destructive plans wherever op-
WHICH COMES FIRST — COPY
WHICH COMES FIRST — COPY
When you see an advertisement in a magazine
or newspaper, you see a finished product — like
a building or a play. The better it is, the less it
shows the preliminary steps involved in makingit.
You have seen buildings which seemed to cry
out that their builders changed their minds a
dozen times in the course of construction. You
have watched plays where the mechanism
creaked so audibly that one of the characters
might as well have said : ^' I know I'm acting con-
trary to all human standards, but the author can
unravel the plot in no other way."
Similarly you have seen advertisements in
which the picture, type and copy should have
been granted an absolute divorce on the grounds
As you go along the streets of a strange city
you find yourself looking twice at certain build-
ings. After a winter's theatre-going you look
The nation's business is transacted over millions of miles of wire. Th«
New Jersey Zinc Company plays its part in maintaining this won-
derful equipment, for it is New Jersey Zinc that protects these wires
from rusting and breaking and prevents a prohibitive replacement cost.
This Zinc, (commercially called spelter), is but one of this com-
pany's many products. All are vitally essential to many of the
nation's greatest industries.
The New Jersey Zinc Company by reason of the location of its zinc
deposits, the quality of its ore, the modem equipment of its many
plants, and the extent of its resources, can be depended upon for ex-
ceptional service and unvarying quality in every one of its products.
THE NEW JERSrV ZINC COMPANY, SS IfailSna, Hem YoA
CHiCACOi UlaodrdM Zta>C<«pu]r, till Mu^MItt BaUdlaf
tiinftatnr, «/ Z<V OtUi. Sflur. StUpUwi, Lui^fmi, Suf^iarn jUA
ZJm Sri^ <W Pbut, Zm Dti imJ Znu CkUriJt
Tkt »orU't tlanJard for Zincfitvdaett
Zinc is a thing which the public never buys — consciously. Yet by selling
the use of zinc in wire and paint and other finished products, a new appre-
ciation of this metal has been built up by Calkins i^ Holden for the New
Jersey Zinc Company. This is the highest type of ^'institutional" adver-
tising. Compare it to the old kind which attempted to create an impression
of stability and size by showing the chimneys of the plant and the whiskers
of the founder.
First, Copy or Illustration ? 21
back at certain plays with a wistful impression
that you would like to see them again. You
might find it difficult to explain just why. But
occasionally you see a play or a building or an
advertisement which is so well proportioned, so
satisfying in design and mood and technique, so
right in its completeness as a unit, that it fills
your eye and warms your heart.
Clearly, since these are the objects of all ad-
vertisements, it may be useful to speculate over
the ways that this unity can be obtained.
After the fire of London, when the task of re-
building confronted the city, some one had the
happy idea of permitting Sir Christopher Wren
to take command of the situation. And even
though not all of his plans were carried out, Lon-
don is a unit as compared with, say, the
cloak-and-suit school of architecture in the
cross-streets of Manhattan just south of Fortieth
and north of Twenty-third.
If one person can visualize an advertisement
before a line of copy is written or drawn, a
mighty step toward unity has been taken.
Many careful workmen among advertising
men find that they get the best results if they can
follow this course:
PREFEERED EY GENTLEMEN NOW AS THEN
" ... In those days it ioas no uncommon sight to see the Statesmen, dur-
ing a recess, discussing Ways and Means over their Virginia cigarettes,"
These famous cigarettes liave always been in demand. And fortunately
for you, they're not imported. Their good Virginia tobacco is grown right
here — it pays no import duty —all the value in "^Richmond Straight Cuts"
is in the cigarette, where it should be. If you don't know the old-time deli-
cacy of good Virginia tobacco— you should try "Richmond Straight Cots.**
In Neat Boxes — Fifteen Cents
Also in attractive tinSt SO for 40 cents; 100 for 7S
cents* Sent prepaid if cf our dealer caMnot supply you.
Every element in this series was in character — copy, illustration, type
and border. Even the captions carried out th^ quaintness of the whole effect.
Courtland N. Smith, now of Joseph Richards Co., Inc., put thought into
this series — and it was worth it.
First, Copy or Illustration? 23
After they have their material in hand, after
the purpose of the advertisement has been settled,
they carry the idea of it around in their minds for
a few days without trying to crystallize it into
a definite advertisement. Little by little it be-
gins to take shape. Perhaps the headline comes
first — a short line or a whole sentence. Then
the spirit of the whole advertisement, the at-
mosphere of it, gradually visualizes itself — a
strong, vigorous treatment or a clean-cut, com-
paratively light appearance.
Several arrangements suggest themselves im-
mediately if the visualizer has a natural or a
trained imagination. Usually a conscientious
person isn't satisfied to stop at the first ideas that
occur to him.
At this stage, still before anything has been
written, it is often useful to sit down with pencil
and paper and play with ideas. Even though he
may not be able to draw at all, he can make min-
iature designs of pages which will convey, at
least to himself, an idea of how several possibil-
ities would work out.
By this time his plans begin to narrow down.
He begins to see roughly how his advertisement
will look. A definite conception of the layout
CICiARETTES "Plaint Cork Ot^
even th» tophomores treated in« wiith tome respect uititn J pr^
due«d the V irginia eiforattet uhich I'd brought upfront Richmond.'
That fine old Southern Aristocrat — "Richmond
Straight Cuts." There's never been another cigarette
quite like them. Their "bright" Virginia tobacco
has a naturally refreshing flavor that makes even the
best of Turkish cigarettes taste almost tame and character-
less by contrast. You'll wish you'd tried them before.
Also packc<l in attractive tins, 50 for 40
cents: 100 for 75 cents. Sent prepaid
if your dealer cannot supply you.
HOTE: Umtikt TmrUsh tobaen. Vireimia maceo
paj$ «e Import duty — all the value iu Richmond
Straigkt Cut dgarettes U im tkeir choic* Vireimia
TREFERRED Iij/ GENTLEMEN NOW as THEN
The picture belongs with the copy and the copy belongs with the type and
all three belong to the product in these advertisements. Mr. Smith caught
the spirit of the cigarettes and the advertiser had thf good sense to let him
First, Copy or Illustration ? 25
is in his mind. Names of artists and recollec-
tions of their work will begin to occur to him.
He will see just about how much he can write —
whether he can develop his argument fully or
must remember to hit out with short, strong
Some men's minds work in terms of layouts,
some only in terms of copy — and some appar-
ently do not work at all. But if the combina-
tion of layout and copy can progress together in
this way the result will have a much greater
chance of being a unit.
There is a famous magazine illustrator who
laughs because people often ask him which
come first — his pictures or the stories they il-
lustrate. He patiently explains that there can't
be any illustrations until there is something to
illustrate. By the same token there can't be a
picture for an advertisement until there is an
advertisement that needs a picture.
The disadvantages of having the advertise-
ment originate with a man who only writes copy
or with a man who only makes layouts are man-
ifest. And yet when you glance through the
advertising pages you see that many advertise-
ments are made in this one-handed way. That
26 Making Advertisements
is one reason that many of them have a splendid
illustration, a good display of the name and
trade-mark and about six times as much copy
as anybody will read.
An art director has made a layout. In his de-
sign he has inserted a small block of horizontal
lines on which he has lettered " Copy Here.'^
Off in the other end of the office a copy man has
received a requisition for seven or twelve ad-
vertisements. He has written them to suit his
arguments. And then some poor typographer
has to try to squeeze a three-hundred word prose-
poem into a 3 X 2 space. Perhaps he may have
the hardihood to send it back with a polite re-
quest to cut about half of the copy. Then the
copy man either jumps up and down, and kicks
the waste basket, or sends it back to be set in 8-
point type, depending on the relative impor-
tance of the copy man and the type man.
Or, a copy man has worked out a series of ad-
vertisements, thinking only of his arguments and
caring not at all about the layout. Eventually
they arrive on the art director's desk crying to
be illustrated. Perhaps they do not offer the
slightest basis for illustration. He sees this at
once, but he knows that if he says so, the copy
First, Copy or Illustration ? 27
man is very likely to ask him where he ever got
the idea that he knew anything about copy. So
he falls back on the time-tried expedient of hav-
ing Mrs. Housewife saying something to Mr.
And in either case the typographer stands be-
tween two fires, vainly wishing that type were
made of rubber instead of hard, remorseless
Even if a maker of advertisements finds by ex-
perience that either the copy or layout side of
his brain sags too much to permit his imagina-
tion to progress along parallel lines, at least he
can call for help before it is too late. He can
talk things over with a man who thinks in terms
of layouts if his own mind runs to copy. He
can ask his typographer how many words of a
certain size type will comfortably fit into a
given space. And then when the advertisement is
complete its parts will look as if they were meant
to belong together instead of being coerced by a
perspiring compositor with strong wrists.
All this is not for purposes of art for art's
sake. That, of course, is an excellent idea, for
any conscientious workman prefers to do a work-
manlike piece of work rather than a slovenly job-
28 Making Advertisements
But the primary object of this unity is to make
the advertisement pay.
A well-proportioned, carefully-made adver-
tisement pays better than a crowded, carelessly
made advertisement just as a good piece of archi-
tecture appeals to ignorant and educated alike,
just as a good play succeeds because it is well
This does not mean the meticulousness that
seeks merely to produce a choice design. Some
of the most exquisite pieces of type arrangement
and design — exquisite as designs — will abso-
lutely defy the most persistent efforts to read
them. Those who feel or affect abandoned
pleasure in viewing specimens of this work may
gather around and sigh, if they will, like the
disciples of the latest freak among painters. But
next year there will be a new freak, and the type
design made purely for its own sake does not
come under the head of advertising.
Like everything else designed to be read, an
advertisement is an intrusion. " You have been
told, I daresay often enough," says Sir Arthur
Quiller-Couch, " that the business of writing de-
mands two — the author and the reader. Add
to this what is equally obvious, that the obliga-
9^e World and His Wife
The World is hard to please— even harder tlian
his wife. There are many things fashioned to
gladden the heart of woman. Her clothes, her
jewelry, all her personal possessions may be jnst
as foO of life and color as she desires.
The World does not fare so well. Each genera*
tion has decreed that his clothing must be in>
creasingly sombre. His tastes, too, are more sim-
ple and his concrete wants are fewer. Display of
any sort, is not considered **good form.**
So when it comes to choosing a gift for the
World, it is necessary to use much care. Let us
help you with this gift problem. We have given
a great deal of study to things we offer as suit-
able gifts for father, brother, and husband.
We have pipes, cigarette cases, and humidors
for the smoker. Our sets of studs and sleeve links
are full of quiet elegance. We have walking sticks
and umbrellas imported from London. Watches
of all the best American and foreign makes we
will gladly regtUate to keep perfect time for the
Shreve, Crump and Low Company
Waldtes, Fine Clocks, Stationery, Trazeling Requisites
U7 Tremont Street Boitoo, MsssachusetU
Even the merchandise has been brought into harmony with the copy and
the design in this admirable advertisement. By George Batten Co.
30 Making Advertisements
tion of courtesy rests first with the author, who
invites the seance, and commonly charges for it.
What follows, but that in speaking or writing we
have an obligation to put ourselves into the hear-
er's or reader's place? It is his comfort, his
convenience, we have to consult. To express
ourselves is a very small part of the business;
very small and almost unimportant as compared
with impressing ourselves, the aim of the whole
process being to persuade.
^' All reading demands an effort. The energy,^
the good-w^ill which a reader brings to the book
is, and must be, partly expended in the labor of
reading, marking, learning, inwardly digesting
what the author means. The more difficulties,
then, we authors obtrude on him by obscure or
careless writing, the more we blunt the edge of
his attention; so that if only in our own interest
— though I had rather keep it on the ground of
courtesy — we should study to anticipate his
Charging for the seance is only another way
of saying that an advertisement exists to sell
something. So obviously the process of intrud-
ing must be arranged as effectively as possible.
And in this the two elements which can help
most are the picture and the headline.
First, Copy or Illustration? 31
Possibly the best rule to follow in an illustra-
tion is to be sure that it tells a story. If the ex-
planation can be thrown away it is a mighty good
picture. But sometimes there is unfortunately
no story to tell in the picture, if the artist can
judge by the copy furnished to him. He is then
in the position of the actor who was confronted
with carrying out that famous stage direction
in an eminent British playwright's drama — the
one which says, '' Enter in the manner of one
who has just had a cup of tea.''
So he does his best to decorate the advertise-
ment instead of illustrating it. His decoration
may be effective, but at best all it can hope to
accomplish is to shout to the public : '^ Come
and read this! I don't know what it's all
about, but Fm here to catch your eye, so look this
Or he may play safe and draw that picture of
Mrs. Housewife and Mr. Dealer, or the crowd
out at the country club, or the family at dinner, or
the factory beside a winding river, or two men
talking across a desk, or the bride doing her
housework, or any other one of the good old
dependable subjects that have advertised every-
thing from food to fashion. If a picture is
32 Making Advertisements
going to tell a story, why not have it tell just one
story instead of a whole news-stand?
Ordinarily a safe plan to follow in creating
interest by an illustration is to show the product
in action. The motor truck tire crunching
through the mud and leaving the track of its
tread was infinitely more interesting than a cold
picture of a tire floating in space would have
been. If you are selling aeroplanes, it 's ob-
vious that a picture of a plane leaving the
ground, or making a flight or landing, would
create more interest than a portrait of a station-
ary plane. In the same way it's more interest-
ing to show a suite of furniture in a room, with
pictures, hangings and ornaments, than to show
merely a table and some chairs. If you are ad-
vertising a newspaper, show it being read by
somebody. Every piece of merchandise is de-
signed to fill a need. Show it on the job — in
action — satisfying the need it comes to fill. It
simply means making your product fit into the
scheme of human events.
There is always something exciting about a
piece of merchandise that lends itself to a cen-
tral, individual idea. '' See that hump? " made
one hook-and-eye stand out above all others for
Symphony in B Q^iet
List of Users
Some bright soul has called the
typewriter The Word Piano.
The beauty of the Noiseless
Typewriter is that it does its work
You may have a full orchestra of
Noiseless Typewiters in your office
but they never disturb.
Quiet reigns supreme. The irri-
tating brass-band-jazz fades into
a lullaby. To install the Noiseless
is like having the hurdy-gurdy
move away from your window
on a busy day.
The Noiseless Typewriter Company, 253 Broadway, New York
'Phone ^Barclay 8205
Business is a serious subject^ and for that very reason the best way to talk
about it is with a smile. It's the best way because most people don't do it.
How much more interesting is this type of copy prepared by N. W. Ayer y
^on than the conventional '"''Now listen^ Mr. Purchasing Agent!"
34 Making Advertisements
a generation. Take the revolver that can be
hammered without going off, the table varnish
that thrives under a shower of boiling water, the
motor car which has no gears to shift, the soap
that lathers well in cold water, the cigarette that
won't bite and the hack-saw that will, the muci-
lage that sticks and the motor-oil that doesn't —
all these have succeeded in getting themselves
associated with definite, individual ideas.
Then the way is opened for a good headline
which can sum up the whole argument with in-
terest, vividness and force. A poor one can be
merely dull — or misleading, like the kind
which says, '^ Columbus discovered America.
Have you discovered this new oleomargarine? "
If it fails to attract attention, or attracts it under
false pretenses, the headline might better be left
The making of the advertisement which is to
appear before the public is the most important
thing in advertising because the advertisement
is usually the only thing the public sees before it
buys, and is always your surest way of conveying
to your customers your own idea of your business
as you know it.
Take the best trade investigation ever made.
First, Copy or Illustration? 35
Take the best window displays and the most
carefully drilled lot of salesmen on earth, set the
stage to perfection and then tell the consumer a
dreary, commonplace story and what does he get
out of it? A dreary, commonplace story.
That's all he sees! You can't go to him and say,
" Yes, but you ought to see how well we make
our merchandise." What does he care? He's
off buying that other product to which the ad-
vertising attracted him.
Make your trade plans right, of course. Set
your house in order with your salesmen and your
dealers. Let them all understand just how you
plan to advertise and where they fit in. But be-
fore that and after that and all the time in be-
tween make sure that your consumer copy is so
unified, so representative of you, and so sincere
that it will surge back at you like a living thing.
GETTING OUT OF THE RUT
GETTING OUT OF THE RUT
One of the greatest shortcomings of today's
advertising is its rubber-stampism. Too many
advertisements are so commonplace that almost
any name could be signed to them. More than
that, in most cases it would not be necessary to
limit the choice of signers to any single line of
" I want my advertising to reflect my com-
pany so exactly," says the advertiser, '^ that it
will fit my company and no other."
And what does he get? Advertisements
which look and sound so much like other adver-
tisements, already appearing, that you could re-
move his name and substitute his competitor's
without disturbing the effect a particle. Yes,
you could even go into another industry without
introducing a discordant note. Right here will
come a protest from those who spend their days
in the service of reflecting other men's busi-
40 Making Advertisements
" That's all very well," they will exclaim,
but when there isn't a shred of individuality
about a business, what are you going to do
Well, advertising, despite its close relation to
many kinds of business, is only one business,
after all. And for the purposes of this discussion
it is much more feasible to speak of individuality
in advertising than to advance theories for indi-
vidualities in all businesses. Without question
it would be desirable to see every business house
achieve a personality of its own. Most of them
have one already if the search is carried deep
enough. But to suggest ways of accomplishing
this would be a reasonably large order. Ifs
quite enough, here and now, to limit the discus-
sion to advertising's ways of seeking out and ex-
pressing the individualities which already exist.
Is there any reason why nine out of ten jew-
elry establishments should have advertisements
which are so alike in border, in design of type,
in phrasing, that you could lay your hand over
the signature and defy any one to tell you the
name of the signer? Is there any reason for the
pompous formula of so-called " institutional "
advertising — the picture of the plant or of the
Li Hung Chang
Li Hung Chang declined to
go to theraces because he said
it was already established
than another. Why should
a man look at machine-made
clothes when he can be hand
MEN'S SUITS $30 TO $6S
TOPCOATS $30 TO |65
HAND-TAILORED AND READY
Men's Clothing Shops, 8 West 38th Street
LOCA.TBD ON STREET LEVEL
Another instance of the way that Frank Irving Fletcher constantly enriches
his copy by introducing interesting gossip.
42 Making Advertisements
founder or both, at the top ; the solemn and res-
onant paragraphs protesting of the house's virtue
and long years of faithful service to the Ameri-
can people? Switch the signature and all these
handsome tributes to themselves might be spoken
equally well by makers of condensed milk or
automobile tires or baked beans or paint or men's
clothing or any other houses with long and hon-
orable histories dating back to an incorporation
prior to 1900.
No; the trouble is deeper-rooted than a firm's
thoughtlessness in failing to provide itself with
points of distinction. Suppose we construct a
rubber-stamp piece of copy and then call in the
didn't know any better !
Think of the hours your grandmother used to
waste in . . . ! She didn't know any other way. But
You can be free, forever, free from the drudgery
of ... . Every day can be made longer. You can
do your .... better than ever before and still have
plenty of time for reading, calling, shopping and the
The simple principle of this device permits you to
do more .... with less effort in shorter time at lower
I know a banker—
(purely in a social way.)
"TIM," he s*!^ to m< the other <l«y, "I'm reaDy
I Ju*t ai human as any other man but my pro-
fession calls for conservatism. People are nervous
when it comes to entmsting their money to others
•nd it gives them confidence to discover in us
bankers a reverence for the hallowed customs of
I had been tryinj to persuade him to give up his
silver shaving mug and get radical in the privacy of
bis bathroom by trying Mennen Shaving Cream.
I met him again next day. "You win, Jim," h»
said. "I used Mennen's this morning. Never had
such a shave in my life. My shaving mug now
belongs to the janitor."
It's the first trial of Mennen's tha\ startles you.
After you have used it for a few months you forget
the old fashioned soap with its thin, watery lather
that used to drizzle off the end of your chin into
the cuff of your pajamas -and darken your whots
outlook on life.
But the first Mennen shave is a revelatioh-'-
Just a half inch of cream blossoms into billows of
creamy lather as light and firm as beaten whites
of eggs and full of moisture as a fog bank. You
woric this lather in with the brush for three
minutes— -and then— say, I never have found the
words to express a man's emotion the first time he
draws a razor down throu4bA maskof Mc&aeaS
lather. Tho b^etrd •iaxpty isn't thortt
Afterwards your face feels like that of a kid's
who has just come out of the swimmin g bole so rt
of bright and easy to twist into • smile.
Anyway, it wouldn't break you banken to try
a tube. Yoan faJthft»Hy.
Jim Henry saysr
"A lot of us smooth shaven young fellows could raise gray beards'*
You could look through many magazines for many nights without find-
ing another series of such persuasive, man-to-man, entertaining copy as
Wilbur Gorman and Jim Adams, between them, have created for Jim Henry.
44 Making Advertisements
cost. Your little girl can understand it; that's how
simple it is! In thousands of homes children are
now doing all the .... better and more economically
than their mothers did in the old, laborious way.
Send your name to us on a postcard and you will
receive our newest booklet, " How to Make .... a
Pleasure," illustrated in four colors. Send today !
Here the dashes represent almost anything
from baking to washing dishes, from sewing to
cleaning. Change the gender and a word here
and there, and you have an advertisement for
any new office appliance. The form is chosen
because housekeeping and office-keeping em-
brace nearly all of both sexes' waking hours.
It's all the fault of the outrageous person who
first boiled down advertising to this formula:
First, focus the attention; second, interest the
reader; third, create a desire; fourth, show that
you satisfy that desire; fifth, stimulate action.
There it all is, in the hideous piece of copy
which we constructed. For easy reference the
five steps have been taken paragraph by para-
graph — one step to a paragraph.
And what do we get? Obviously, an adver-
tisement which could be made to fit almost any
product under the sun. Extreme? Don't you
believe it. Turn to the advertising pages of the
Getting Out of the Rut 4S
nearest magazine or the advertising columns of
the handiest newspaper.
A very amusing article called ^' Ready-Write
Paragraphs, Inc." by P. K. Marsh appeared in
Printers' Ink in the issue of October 23, 1919.
The author calls it '' a new service for over-
worked or underpowered copy-carpenters '' —
and it certainly is. He says that his " reading
of the more expensive of advertising pages dis-
closed a surprising condition — advertisement
after advertisement could be applied to any type
of merchandise merely by the simple expedient
of changing the trade-name and signature.
" Instantly my agile mind leaped to the paral-
lel — motion-studies in industrial production
had led to a science of ' Efficiency,' and effi-
ciency-experts are making fat fees from coast to
coast. How? Largely by standardizing their
" Then the same agile mind leaped again to a
book I had once found in a second-hand book
shop — ' The Ready Letter-Writer.'
" My idea was complete — sprung full-grown
from the brain of Jove.
" All over the nation there are harassed copy-
writers, advertising managers appointed by re-
46 Making Advertisements
lationship rather than by experience, and copy-
cubs aspiring to loftier salaries — there stood
my potential market, vast, receptive, unsated."
For these harassed writers he purposed to is-
sue ready-made paragraphs, suitable for use un-
der practically all conditions. For example:
'' Paragraph 26 — ^ The thousands of satisfied
carpenters using . . . are their best indorse-
" Note : — For carpenters substitute your par-
ticular type of purchaser. Though this may
strike a novice in advertising as inconclusive in
argument and highly sketchy in appeal, it is
good copy because it cost the first user $250 a
'' Paragraph 40 — ^ Uninterrupted and eco-
nomical performance is the direct result of high
standard of manufacture and concentration upon
one product for many years.'
^'Note: — A particularly choice paragraph
for agency work as it applies to practically any-
thing of a utilitarian nature. Caution — use a
"Paragraph S3 — ^ . . popularity is based
not on any one quality, but on an all-round de-
sirability which omits no essential of satisfaction.
Getting Out of the Rut 47
The . . . itself pleases the eye; its perform-
ance and economy of operation confirm the good
judgment of the purchaser/
^'Note: — No. S3 must be used with more
caution than some of the others. ^ Economy of
operation ' may, as needed, be replaced with
^ unusual endurance,' ' dependable results ' or
other appealing generality."
But would he use his ready-made paragraphs
to advertise his ready-made paragraphs? Not
much! Here is the sort of copy he says he
would use :
When Inspiration fails you, rely on R. W. P.
When your Esterbrook ceases brooking, when
your Conklin fails to conk, that's when a fellow needs
When Jimmy-pipes are unavailing, when Camels
flunk, when you haven't an idea worth its area in
scratch-paper because you've written the whole
darned subject dry — then you need R. W. P.
Why? Because, waiting for you in the R. W. P.
binder is an ad already made, merely waiting for you
to insert the name of your particular product.
And every R. W. P. ad is a good ad, sure to pass
the copy-chief and the Big Man in your client's or-
ganization. How do we know? Because every ad
has passed our unique sure-fire $2,000 Test.
There's not a dud in the whole arsenal. Get our
special group offer for agency copy-departments.
48 Making Advertisements
More power to Mr. Marsh and to Printers*
Ink whose editors have had the good sense to
print many of his readable jolts to the compla-
cent copy world !
The difficulty is that the person creating and
authorizing advertisements is too often what
H. L. Mencken calls *' an absolutely typical
American of the transition stage between Chris-
tian Endeavor and civilization."
Generically he is first of all a worshiper of
property. He is awed in the presence of sales
reports, or capitalizations running into eight fig-
ures. Acres of factory floor space make his eyes
Similarly, he venerates success for itself alone.
Stories of young men who in seven years have
gone from auditor to president — adult versions
of the Pluck-and-Luck school of Frank Merri-
well — warm his heart. He has little attention
for the patient study and constant striving which
achieved that success; he sees only the result.
To him there is really no such thing as business
democracy; it is an autocracy of earning power;
you fawn upon those who make more than you
do and bully those who make less. That's his
code of business manners.
Yes, Tm a Nut
j^^^BOME people say I am a nut about making
Mh^H poster advertuing pay better by maJcing
All right. I am a nut
But 1 am in pretty good company.
The record of the nuts up to date i
Archimedes was a nut, but you can
derrick' to-d^y without Archie's help. He was the.
fellow who said: "Just give me standing room for
my le\er. and I'll pry up the universe."
Columbus w^is a nut He went from capita) to
capital trying ic find a king sporty enough to back
his plan for making the geography twice as big, and
they joshed him.
Galileo was a nut, but they didn't josh him.
When he said the world went round the sun, they
tied him to a rack and tortured him until they made
him take it back.
Newton was a nut But we might not know
yet what makes the apple (all if it wasn't for Ike
Watt was a nut and we have the steam-engine.
Singer was a nut and we have the tewmg-
Mone was a nut and we have the telegraph.
Fulton was a nut and we have the steamboat
When the English people heard Stephenson's
idea of a wagon on ra:L> pushed by steam they
bughed their heads off. But Stephenson kept oo
and nc-v no one knows what McAdoo'll do next
Everybody takes a Kodak with them because
Eastman was a nut
Duryea was a nut and now the automobile
industry is the third largest in the country.
Ford was a nut — and is yet
So, if I am a nut I am rather proud of it
Don't think that I put myself in a line with
these names. They arc all big nuts — cocoanuts, at
least — while 1 am only a pea-nut
But I am just as much in earnest about my own
particular nuttiness as they were.
1 do believe that the use of color on billboards
for advertising is in its infancy: that better artisti
than have yet been used can make posters that will
get over, make a greater impression and sell more
I do believe that if I had a charted to talk to
you, I might (mind you I only say "might") be able
to suggest something better than you have usfd or
Anyway. I am always willing to put my time
against youn Co find out
Earnest Elmo Calkins is also a 7iut. His particular type of nuttiness
is that he is never willing to see an advertiseynent leave the office of Calkins
y H olden until it is carefully de signed y thoroughly written aiid capably illus-
mmmm k, fmttic, Iml k
Knm Cnmtl t tniM
Oif> Wniar. C«M
aoss svnuM ciovn
Cnm CrtftI K0^w
'".""^ ti* 111, lie nt
is the Tax on Others
The New Taxes will be
founded on Justice, In
all Justice there is an
admixture of Injustice.
To this injustice wis cam
offer one consolatiork — ••
we will get used to it.
Life is too short in
which to make two
reputations. One rea»
son Mark Cross has
never relaxed the stand'
ards of excellence since
Cross Silk Bag
The advertiser who
throws dost in hit reader^
eyes wUl eoentaaUy blind
Aem to his own attrae-
Cross Silk Bag
Many years ago a poet
speaking of various things
said thai "Many a flower
is born lo blush unteen"
This column is intended to
prevent oar sharing that
Believing that arguments about quality " are not read
ivith as much conviction by the public as by the writer
of them;' Frederic T. Murphy of Mark Cross amuses by
the epigrams at the head of his advertisements.
50 Making Advertisements
He is ready to indorse What-Has-Been-Done
and to question Anything-Different. His let-
ters come to you '' Dictated but Not Read." He
has his secretary call you on the phone and keeps
you waiting until he gets ready to talk.
If he is an advertiser his modesty about his
concern takes the form of saying, " We think
we have a rather unique organization here,"
meaning, of course, that there couldn't possibly
be another organization so good.
He protests that he doesn't interfere with his
company's advertising in any way but mentions
casually that he ^' dashed ofiF a little thing a year
or so ago " which was used as a full page adver-
tisement and '' everybody said it was the best
thing the house ever did."
Such a man can be prevailed upon to consent,
with just the proper amount of reluctance, to
sign his company's advertisements and presently
he will honestly believe that he wrote them him-
self or, at the least, that he '' wrote them in the
rough and let somebody else whip them into
shape." In color advertising he likes any color
if it is red. He " doesn't know anything about
art, but he knows what he likes."
Transplant that type of man to the advertis-
ToiJ hy a Thtatricai Managtr
" Each puff deserves an encore —
and the price brings down the house"
"A Dramatic Critic discovered
the Ricoro cigar," said the Theat-
rical Manager — "and it was the
best thing that bird ever did.
"It was on the opening night of
'The Music Master' when I spot-
ted this fellow smoking in the
wings. Before I recognized him I
hissed, 'Hey, no smoking! Lay off
that cigar !' and regretted my
brusqueness as soon as I saw w ho
"Later, I met him in the green
room and apologized. 'No offense
— no offense,' he laughed. 'I'm an
inveterate smoker, and have a
cigar going most of the time. Tr>'
one of 'em — see if you blame me!'
"I lighted up— and. Shades of
Bopth! It was some cigar! When
he said it was a Ricoro, and that
I could buy 'em for only 10 cents
at any United Cigar Store, it
was as pleasant a surprise as the
two-column boost he gave the
show next morning!"
Sctoner or later you'll discover Ricoro
— ^'ou'll be astounded at the quality of
Ricoro. It is a beautifully made cigar of
ricfi tropic fragrance and gentle mildness.
The popular prices of Ricoro are made
possible because it is im-
ported from Porto Rico July
free. A dozen sizes and
shapes— 8c to 3 for 50c.
Sold only m L'nited Cigar
UNITED CIGAR STORES
A striking copy idea, consistently carried out. Notice the zvay in which
the theatre motif runs through the copy. In each advertisement of this series
prepared by the Federal Advertising Agency, the choice of words was just
Getting Out of the Rut 51
ing business and he becomes '' a merchan-
dising expert." He exerts pressure on pros-
pects through bankers. He shakes hands at
dinners, moving from table to table. He joins
organizations. Mysteriously he speaks of prob-
lems. His customers are clients. When you
phone to him he is always in a conference.
His assistants are pale reflections of himself
and, since they commonly do most of his work
while he pounds desks in offices, his assistants
apply his ideas to the preparation of advertising.
Their minds run in the grooves already carved
by others. They aren^t taking any chances and
they aren't going through any unnecessary mo-
tions. Apparently they believe that if you ring
enough changes on the good old appeals and
presentations you can take care of any advertis-
ing campaign ever started. So why waste
energy and risk failure by seeking anything
A good illustration of those who are in the rut
and those who get out of it is furnished by time-
liness in advertising. To the bromides, timeli-
ness merely means a chance to trail along with
the thoughts which happen to be occupying pub-
lic attention at the moment. To the sulphides,
52 Making Advertisements
it means an opportunity to do a striking thing in
a striking way.
The rut-nestlers welcomed the word camou-
flage when it arrived from France — welcomed
it, ran it into every possible piece of copy,
twisted it this way and that, squeezed it into
headlines, poured it into body text, and finally
wore all the paint ofif. A little later they decided
that every piece of copy ought to have a war
angle and they showed snappy American
officers packing their kits — officers with
Sam Browne belts over the wrong shoulders,
officers wearing campaign hats where tin hats
would have been required, and officers wearing
tin hats at the ports — always officers, always
loading up their kits or getting advertised prod-
ucts in packages from home. One American
manufacturer actually decided that just to be
different he would show plain doughboys using
his product, and the effect was so refreshing that
he received a round-robin letter of appreciation
signed by six doughboys in France.
Timeliness to many means copy planned ac-
cording to the following illustrative formula:
January — a naked little boy representing the
New Year; February — Cupids, hearts and val-
bu5iness to-day. Offers ten year r
old w^hisKey to-morrow. ^ -^
Where does he get it? "^
I give up. Out my ^vay we can't live
ten years over night I am able to sell old
whiskey because I have an old business.
Founded 1812. Costs you no more.
If you find a dealer i?vho
doesn't Keep M^HeiiTy
please step softly: hell be
cross if you w^aKe him vb>.
Founded 1812. Costs you no more.
Father Time is a partner in
my business. He 'tends to
the aging. Most folks use
a printing press instead.
Founded 1812. Costs you no more.
They say the good die young.
M^Henry whiskey is
very old and very good.
Founded 1812. Costs you no more.
These clever street car cards are by J. K. Fraser, the inventor of the
famous Spotless Town series.
54 Making Advertisements
entines; March — St. Patrick and shamrocks;
April — Easter lilies, Easter eggs and rabbits;
May — either May-poles or the Decoration Day
motif; June — the sweet girl graduate; July —
Uncle Sam and firecrackers; August — sailing,
seashore, vacations; September — back-to-
school stuff; October — Hallowe'en, witches.
Jack-o'-lanterns; November — turkeys; Decem-
ber — Santa Claus.
Watch the people who pride themselves on
the seasonableness of their copy and see how
many work these ideas into their pictures, their
borders and even into the headlines and copy.
That isn't timeliness. That's getting your
copy ideas from the almanac. Here are some
instances of genuine timeliness, instances which
smashed their way to public attention:
At one o'clock one morning last summer the
British dirigible R-34 started on her homeward
voyage. The New York papers on the morning
of her safe arrival in England carried a full-
page advertisement reproduced on the opposite
One day while the submarine war was still
going on, the wireless brought word to New
York that a passenger steamship had been sunk
The sign of a reliable dealer
and tke workTt best GasoUac
took her home
The fuel tanks of R-34 were filled
with SoCOny Aviation Gasoline
on her trip home.
Quite naturally she made splendid time and her
engines did all that was asked of them— drivea
by clean-buming, power-full SoCOny Gasoline.
STANDAEID OIL COMPANY OF ^fEW YORK
When the whole world zvas thinking about R-34, the McCann Company
saw its legitimate opportunity to present the reliability of Socony Gasoline.
It would be difficult to find a more apt example of the proper use of timeli-
ness in advertising.
Getting Out of the Rut 55
at sea. The next day the W. S. S. people pub-
lished a full-page based on that event.
Going from the sublime to the ridiculous, a
hat merchant on Forty-second street decided
that his landlord's most recent raise in rent was
one too many. He told the public all about it
in a five-column advertisement the next day, say-
ing that he preferred to sell hats at his regular
price, and that he vs^ould continue to do so at his
The same people who say that ^' advertising
must be a fascinating game " are now beginning
to add that they " understand it has been reduced
to pretty much of a science."
Why, it hasn't begun! To be sure it has pro-
gressed further in ten years than in the preced-
ing two decades and further in thirty years than
in the preceding thirty centuries. But why?
Not because of anything done by the type of
advertising man who is content to make his ad-
vertising like other advertising. For all of him,
clothing advertising would still show men in
plug hats and tail coats, men looking like villains
in the ten-twenty- thirty melodramas. Patent
medicine advertising would still go as univer-
sally unchallenged as it goes today in many
otherwise respectable papers.
56 Making Advertisements
When Charles Austin Bates showed the ad-
vertising world that a mailing card could be cov-
ered with humor and salesmanship and humanity
all at once; when Earnest Elmo Calkins and In-
galls Kimball proved that art and taste were as
much at home in advertising as in galleries and
libraries ; when S. Wilbur Corman demonstrated
that the language of everyday had more selling-
power than stilted sentences ; when Stanley Resor
decided that an advertising page could be made
as interesting as an editorial page; when J. K.
Eraser found that people liked jingles which
rhymed and scanned, and that a whole volume of
argument could be condensed into a phrase on a
street car card ; when Richard H. Waldo proved
on Good Housekeeping that a magazine could
guarantee all merchandise advertised in its
pages; and when Ogden Reid and G. V. Rogers
gave him an opportunity to clean up the adver-
tising ideas of New York by proving with the
New York Tribune that the same principle
could be applied by a newspaper —
These were a few of the moments when adver-
tising took a leap forward and upward in this
country. If these men had been afraid to
recommend a new idea or if the people whose
The paragraph you are now
reading is not " justified."
That is, it is set up just like
typewriting with a " space "
of equal width between all of
the words. Each line starts
all right at the left-hand
edge, but ends where it wilL
Now, typesetting diifers from
typewriting in that the right-
hajid edge must be as straight
as the left-hand edge. This
result is achieved by insert-
ing " spaces ** of varying
width between -the words, and
sometimes " letter-spacing "
the words thernselve*. This is
iContiauad on Thundty)
209 West 25th Street
r«/«y>Aoo« Chelsea 7£tfO
Type smaller than ten point
shoiild never be used for advertis-
ing nteratxire. Then, too, this
ten-point type should be leaded,
as in the paragraph you are now
Here we have eight point •olid.
Twice as many words can be set to the
square Inch in this size as in the ten
point leaded, as shown above. Nine out
of ten people will refuse to read an ad-
vertisement when it is set in type as
hard to read as this.
When tempted to use a small,
sized type it is always better to
boil down the story to half of its
original length and set it in ten
Publishers Printing Company
209 West 25th Street
Telephone Chebea 7840
(.Continued from Tuesday )
Now this paragraph has been
justified. The ragged edge at the
right has disappeared. One oJ
the tests of composition, whether
by hand or machine, lies in the ju^*
Sometimes you see too many
words crowded into a line. Th^
makes for difficult reading.
When there are too
few words ' to a line,
the spaces between the
words are too conspicuous,
«nd the result is dis*
The skilful compositor is ex.
ceedingly particular about his
justification, because this per.
haps above all else makes for
good or bad typography.
Publishers Printing Company
^09 West 25th Street
Telephone Chelsea ?84/>
Here is a good formula for those
who use photo engravings:
Line cuts can be printed on any
kind of printing paper.
Half-tones of 133 screen and
ISO screen can be printed on coated
Half-tones ofl20 screen and 133
screen can be printed on super
paper — or a good quality of Eng-
lish Finish Paper,
When in doubt always use the
coarser screen — ^but not coarser
Do not try to print vignettes
on uncoated paper.
Publishers Printing Company
209 West 25th Street
Telephone Chelsea TS4a
Here is one firm that educates customers. Ralph I. Bartholomew is re-
sponsible for these fine examples of how to pick and then sell an audience.
58 Making Advertisements
advertising they were preparing had said,
*' Well, we've never done anything like that be-
fore," advertising would never have shown its
But it's only fairly well started. The biggest
part of the job lies ahead. In his book, " Preju-
dices," H. L. Mencken says:
" Why do we Americans take off our hats when
we meet a flapper on the street, and yet stand covered
before a male of the highest eminence? A Conti-
nental would regard this last as boorish to the last de-
gree; In greeting any equal or superior, male or
female, actual or merely conventional, he lifts his
head-piece. Why does It strike us as ludicrous to
see a man In dress clothes before 6 p.m.? The
Continental puts them on whenever he has a solemn
visit to make, whether the hour be six or noon.
Why do we regard It as Indecent to tuck the napkin
between the waistcoat buttons — or Into the neck ! —
at meals? The Frenchman does It without thought
of crime. So does the Italian. So does the Ger-
man. All three are punctilious men — far more so,
Indeed, than we are. Why do we snicker at the man
who wears a wedding ring? Most Continentals
would stare askance at the husband who didn't.
Why Is It bad manners In Europe and America to ask
a stranger his or her age, and a friendly attention in
China? Why do we regard It as absurd to dis-
tinguish a woman by her husband's title — e.g. Mrs.
Judge Jones, Mrs. Professor Smith? In Teutonic
Getting Out of the Rut 59
and Scandinavian Europe the omission of the title
would be looked upon as an affront."
And later in the same chapter:
" Why do otherwise sane men believe in spirits?
What is the genesis of the American axiom that the
fine arts are unmanly? What is the precise machin-
ery of the process called falling in love ? Why do
people believe newspapers? . . . Let there be light! "
There are scores of questions which the adver-
tising man wants answers for, as Mr. Mencken
*' After all, not many of us care a hoot whether
Sir Oliver Lodge and the Indian chief Wok-a-wok-
a-mok are happy in heaven, for not many of us have
any hope or desire to meet them there. Nor are we
greatly excited by the discovery that, of twenty-five
freshmen who are hit with clubs, 17| will say
' Ouch ! ' and 22^ will say ' Damn ! ' ; nor by a table
showing that 38.2 per centum of all men accused of
homicide confess when locked up with the carcasses
of their victims, including 23.4 per centum who are
mnocent; nor by plans and specifications, by Caglios-
tro out of Lucrezia Borgia, for teaching poor,
God-forsaken school children to write before they
can read and to multiply before they can add; nor
by endless disputes between half-witted pundits as to
the precise difference between perception and cogni-
tion; nor by even longer feuds, between pundits even
6o Making Advertisements
crazier, over free will, the subconscious, the endo-
neurlum, the functions of the corpora quadrigemlna,
and the meaning of dreams in which one is pursued
by hyenas, process-servers or grass widows."
It's undoubtedly true that many of the same
fundamentals underlie all branches of business
and that advertising men are constantly encoun-
tering parallels between one man's puzzles and
another's. The cry of '^ My business is differ-
ent! " is still prevalent though it is on the wane.
But there are hundreds of questions which ad-
vertising men want answered — advertising men
who are not satisfied to shuffle the same old pack
of ideas and deal to their customers from the
Why do all women respond to the style ap-
peal? It's easy enough to say that it is their in-
stinct to adorn themselves. Why is it? Be-
cause they want to attract the opposite sex?
Why should they? In some races women do the
wooing — even in this country among the cliff-
dwellers of Arizona, if we are to believe those
who have studied the tribe.
Why does the woman run the household ex-
penditures in some homes and the man in others?
Are those people right who tell us that nearly
Getting Out of the Rut 6i
90 per cent of purchases for the home are made
by women? Have they studied enough homes?
Perhaps they have, but have they?
Then why advertise to men at all? And yet
every advertising man can remember successful
advertising of this type in the so-called men's
magazines. Is that because men's magazines
are read by women?
Is there any such thing as a man's magazine
or a woman's magazine? How distinct is the
line between mass and class circulation? Can
you say that this newspaper is read only by
horny-handed sons of toil who get into subway
expresses in their overalls? Can you say that
that magazine is read only by those who eat hot-
house grapes, drive racing cars, winter at Palm
Beach, have nine servants and children who
elope with chauffeurs and show girls?
You see low-priced merchandise selling out of
the magazines whose contents are supposed to
be a secret among Newport cottagers and dia-
mond necklaces being profitably featured in
newspapers read by stenographers. Nor has
this condition been limited to the recent days
when high wages have made the poor rich and
the income tax has made the rich poor. A cer-
62 Making Advertisements
tain perfume advertiser has made a success of
advertising to Fifth Avenue in order to sell
Since all your friends tell you they never read
long advertisements, who does?
You can still find people who are indignant
because the flat magazines carry over their
stories into the advertising pages and you can
find just as many people who feel that the old
standard magazine, with its advertising section
at the back, seems small and cramped. Which
size is better from an advertising viewpoint?
Is it better to strike a reader when his mind is
on a carried-over story and when you must pull
his eye away from editorial matter or when he
is frankly leafing over the advertising pages?
Besides, how big is a page?
Is a reader who subscribes to a magazine a
better prospect than one who buys it on a news-
stand? What is the right proportion between
subscriptions and news-stand sales?
You may argue that the subscriber is a better
prospect because he has shown his interest by
contracting for a whole year of the magazine at
once or that the news-stand buyer is more valu-
able because he voluntarily makes the effort of
Tlif Lhlhs lk<i,h-J.w>i.il foi O.Uvi. /.;/•) /-•>■>
IV tjrhei has a motor-car
And mother too can steer it.
My sister owns a bicycle
But 1 may not eo near it.
Upon « red velocipede
My brother rides about
And even baby has a cart
When nursie takes her out.
I am too big for go-carts, and
My mothersays, too small
To have a tricycle" like Nan's
Because I'd maybe fall. '
So wheni used to want to travel
Up or down the street
I almost always had to go
Just only on my feet.
But nowl'vesomethingof myown
That takes me near or far,
1 don't suppose you'd guess, but it's
A reg'iar Kiddie-Kar!
I had a fight with Bobby Lee
He'd always want to ride it
And took it almost every day
Until 1 had to hide it.
And then one time 1 just went up
And asked his daddy whether
He couldn't have one too, and now
We Kiddie-Kar together!
TT" IDDIE KAR. first built by a fjih*t for
■^^ his own child, is not a grown-up's idea
ofwh.it a child ought to like, but a simple
conveyance which satisfies a natural insiincc
of ihe child. It fills a period noi taken care
of by any other vehicle.
Ir IS perfectly safe, even fot a baby one
year old. It is close to the ground and
almost impossible to tip over. There is
nothing to pinch fingers or tear clothes.
No sharp comers, no splinters— every sur-
face is sand-papered. No adjustments to
gel out of order No paint to come off.
It is the only practical indoor- vehicle.
It gives the child healthful exercise out-
doors. It is used the whole year round.
Don't wait till Christmas. Get one for
your child to ride these brisk October days.
You will find Kiddie-Kar wherever juve-
nile vehicles are sold.
REAL KIDDIE-KARS ARE MADE ONLY BY WHITE
YAade m ftve sizes
No I -(or 1.2 ,
No 2-fo> M 1
No 3— foi J^ 1
No «— fo» 4.S 1
MADE IN AMERICA FOR AMERICAN GIRLS AND BOYS
Tl.c only tcnuln.
KAR 11 m«d« tn
iK. H C
tfftde tnatk. II u
• Iwsft on
tK<MM TKfKlDDlE KAR
u pfMranl by fe
Jingles can rhyme and scan and you can pack a volume of selling talk into
three short paragraphs — if you have Richard Walsh of Barrows 6*
Richardson as your copy-writer.
Getting Out of the Rut 63
going to the news-stand to get his copy. But
the subscriber's interest may lag and he may
leave next month's issue in its wrapper until
some one starts a fire with it. And the news-
stand buyer may forget to go to the stand next
month. And there you are.
Why will a man unhesitatingly buy a cigar for
another man when he would not think of select-
ing a box of cigarettes for the same man? Is it
because the brand names of cigarettes have been
impressed so much more generally and insist-
ently than the brand names of cigars that indi-
vidual tastes in cigarettes are more generally rec-
ognized? Or is it because the man who buys a
cigar for a friend knows that his selection will
be welcome since he usually pays more for it
than he thinks his friend would venture to sug-
Why will a certain piece of copy pull like a
mule in a certain publication and curl up and
die in another of the same type?
What is the mysterious driving force that gets
into some campaigns of apparently mediocre
merit and lifts them on to success without a sec-
ond's hesitation? Is it timeliness, keeping just
far enough ahead of popular desires, brains or
64 Making Advertisements
just luck? Every advertising man can remem-
ber campaigns in which the stage had been
beautifully set, everything possible had been
done — and nothing happened. Every adver-
tising man can remember ill-fated campaigns in
which everything went wrong from the start of
preparation to the day the first advertisement ap-
peared — and then suddenly it swept along se-
renely to success. There is something almost
alive about a campaign at times — as elusive as
a three-foot putt, as contagious as a saxophone
obligato — as skittish as a village vamp.
You are walking along Fifth Avenue and
your eye is attracted by a scarf in the window of
a haberdasher's establishment. You enter the
shop and are conscious of a number of sleek
young men standing about.
One of them bows to you. You explain that
you would like a closer look at those scarfs in the
window, and you ask their price.
" They are twelve dollars, I believe," he re-
plies, and his manner suggests that he disap-
proves of displaying merchandise so publicly.
If it were left to him there would be no show
windows to attract the idly curious like yourself.
"May I see one?" you ask. Another bow.
He goes to the back of the shop and has a con-
ference with an even more important personage.
This man calls to some one answering to the
name of Jenkins. Evidently Jenkins is the man
who does the rough work around the place. He
doesn't mind exposing himself to the public view
68 Making Advertisements
by inserting the upper half of his body into the
Presently the scarf is laid before you. Clearly
your request has put a considerable number of
people to a great deal of trouble, so you examine
this scarf with respect. It is a very presentable
scarf. Its color is good and its texture is agree-
able. But under ordinary circumstances you
would hardly think that it represented twelve
dollars. If you passed a man wearing that scarf
on the Avenue you would not be likely to ex-
claim, " There goes a man wearing a scarf which
cost twelve dollars! "
But with the sleek young man standing ready
to have you prove yourself either a connoisseur
or an impostor you shrivel into a coward.
" I'll take it," you murmur.
Atmosphere did it.
In one of the most exclusive suburbs of an
Eastern city a carefully dressed young man
walked briskly along an avenue of homes.
From his crisp straw hat to his well polished
cordovans he suggested just the right degree of
smartness. He turned in at one of the most at-
tractive homes, swinging his walking stick.
From an upper window a lady saw him ap-
One word is sometimes stronger than a volume. Joseph Husband cj
Husband iy Thomas found several which he used one at a time in this power-
preaching, heard him run up the steps, cross the
veranda and ring the bell — two short rings, the
summons of a busy man with no time to waste.
She reached the front hall just ahead of her
maid. As she opened the door the young man
made two gestures — one with his right hand
and one with his left foot: he took off his hat and
he stepped backward. Instinctively she opened
the door even wider. He stepped inside.
Ten minutes later she smiled on him as he de-
parted. And then, rather breathlessly she real-
ized that she had committed herself to pay four
dollars a year for a subscription to the fashion
magazine which the young man represented.
Back in a sky scraper in New York sat a man
in an expensive office. He could tell you why
the lady herself had come downstairs to open
the door. Atmosphere did it — the good
clothes, the busy walk, the air of importance,
and the right type of man. If she had seen a
carelessly dressed man shuffling along the side-
walk, glancing hopefully at the second floor
windows, she would have called to her maid to
say that she wasn't at home and to tell that book
agent not to come back.
The man in New York could tell you why she
yo Making Advertisements
unconsciously invited his representative to enter.
Again, atmosphere — the courtesy of a lifted
hat, the deference expressed in the backward
step, disarming her instinct of self-protection.
If he had taken a step forward she would have
closed the door.
But for all these trifles the guiding genius in
New York would take small credit compared to
the idea to which he attributes the success of his
salesmen's methods. That idea was the finishing
touch. It was the walking stick.
He found that no matter how carefully he
drilled his salesmen in their approach, no matter
how well they were dressed nor how adroit they
were in the blend of chivalry and firmness that
makes a man successful in selling to women, the
percentage of orders to calls was not satisfactory.
Then he sent out for a dozen walking sticks.
He paid four dollars apiece for them. And he
will tell you that they were the best investment
he ever made. They opened doors. They pro-
duced orders. They are now standard equip-
ment — as vital as the hidden pocket that holds
the prospectus without making the suit bulge.
The creation of atmosphere is even more im-
portant in advertising than in spoken salesman-
A$ thl$ tdetrliitmrrl
ton to frtlt m llmrn
t km t t h » Burflen
Union Aoi Jicldrd lo
U a ttrikt m» a proUtt
agcintt two of th*:,
mtmbrrt having betr
ttopp*d fCTlf ont morn
ini tittU$t fclnf or
0«« ftalsfraM fKnu
Clftr Cm*, TiwmlUnt WttOi
Ct^u Tramautf Buf
Cttu rMuit rttit
1W ••K-i Cmm U«. fc^
•T— ». a*.,..!..
ft it tuggested that Sam-
son had a keen idea of ad-
vertising. Samson took two
solid columns, with the re-
sult that he brought down
So far the Peace
Casualties are not
excessive in propor-
tion to the numbers
engaged in the
A leather article with-
out the Crost trade-mmk
is, as the Frenchman said,
"like the play of Omelette
without the egg.'*
A London clergyman
assures us the world u
coming to an end this
year. In view of the ap-
parent inability of the
world to settle Us prob--
lems, this may be the
best solution after all.
Cross Envelope Puree
The Mark Cross advertising is notable for the element
of ''atmosphere'' expressed by the trademark, the head line
and the epigram and carried on through the entire layout.
72 Making Advertisements
ship. And there is no more vital phase of ad-
vertising than the study and practice of creating
If the three elements of an advertisement are
the copy, the picture and the type, then the
term which includes all three — the layout —
is of first consequence in achieving atmosphere.
The looks of an advertisement are like the
looks of a salesman. There was a day when
merchants cared very little how their salespeo-
ple dressed and acted. Today there are fixed
standards of clothes and manners.
Similarly, there was a time when mighty little
thought was given to the choice and arrange-
ment of type, to the balance of picture and print,
to the illustrations, technique and the copy's
character. But today it is realized that first
impressions are even more vital in an advertise-
ment than in the appointments of a shop.
A clever salesman can win you around even
though you may be unfavorably impressed by
his store, when you first enter it. But if an ad-
vertisement's appearance repels you, or even
fails to attract you, the advertiser has lost his
opportunity with you once and for all.
A famous merchant sums up the duties of his
advertisements in this order: Be seen, be read,
be believed, be convincing.
If a manufacturer of vs^renches were to choose
a fastidious face of type, associate it with a
dainty border and a delicate drawing, your
first glance at his advertisement would say to
you : '^ This must be an advertisement of a sachet
And no matter how vigorous and man-to-man
his argument might be, you would refuse to be-
lieve that it was selling wrenches. And you
would be right; it wouldn't sell them.
Every business, no matter how young or how
old, has a personality. To catch the spirit of
that personality and to reflect it in words and
type and picture is the job of every advertise-
If a man is selling an automobile costing sev-
eral thousands of dollars, he refuses to admit that
his car has anything so plebeian as an engine.
He emphasizes the little comforts of upholstery
and fixtures. He gets you into a luxurious
frame of mind when you see his advertisement
just as he does when you enter his salesroom.
In his advertising he does it by using color
pages in the magazines where he shows you the
74 Making Advertisements
exquisite work of the best available artists. His
car is incidental. The foreground, peopled by
the idle rich, may be a club window or a country
club lawn or a famous church.
His message may be confined to a dozen words
or even no words at all — just atmosphere.
He is not like the merchant who must go into
details by telling you whether a bookcase will
fill a certain space in your library, how a new
article of office equipment will simplify your or-
ganization's routine, or whether a new kitchen
device is simple enough to be mastered by a
somewhat skeptical Finn. He needn't even
mention the price. Even King Richard HI said,
^' My Kingdom for a horse! " — which is prob-
ably the highest price on record for one good
dependable steed. But the maker of high
quality motor cars flatters you by taking it for
granted that a question of a few hundreds this
way or that will make no difference to you, just
as he asks you to take it for granted that he has
put under the hood an engine that will run.
There is an old saying in advertising — that
nothing can be said about a 25-cent cigar which
has not already been said about a 5-cent cigar.
If you descend to superlatives in selling a prod-
IT IS THE PRIVILEGE OF FINCH LEY TO
ANNOUNCE THAT A LIMITED NUMBER
OF SUITS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED IM
FLANNEL OF THE TONE AND DISTINC-
TION WHICH ONE IS INCLINED TO ASSO-
CIATE WITH ENGLISH GARMENTS DE-
VOTED TO LOUNGE AND COUNTRY USAGE.
CUSTOM FINISH WITHOUT
THE ANNOYANCE OF A TRY-ON
READY- TO- PUT ON
TAILORED A T FASHION PARIC
Style Brochure mailed on regurst
SWo^t 46th. Street
An extraordinary instance of the way that words can create a picture.
Robert Mears, Jr., has made the Finchley advertising look like fashion and
sound like fashion.
76 Making Advertisements
uct of real quality, you find that the maker of
inferior merchandise has been there first. So
the strongest way you can convey an impression
of supreme merit is by inference — by atmos-
phere. The man whose merchandise falls in
the class below yours may employ many of the
devices of design which you also use, but he
doesn't dare give as little information.
But atmosphere is not confined to those who
buy the art work of the Michael Angelos of our
time. Atmosphere is not merely a question of
a four-page color-insert describing and pictur-
ing the beauty of a pipe organ in the home of a
Obviously the test of good advertising, from
the standpoint of atmosphere, is whether it is
in character with the product which it seeks to
Atmosphere can be employed in selling per-
fume or china or rugs or kitchen sinks or vacuum
cleaners or fountain pens or hosiery or collars
or magazines or refrigerators or candy or pro-
hibition drinks — anything that people want.
By the endless combination of blocks of type,
white space, appropriate pictures and borders,
it is possible to convey to the reader at a glance
CLIENT for whom
we had copied a
necklace of Ori-
ental Pearls, seeing both
necklaces before her,
said : Well, the resemblance
is remarkabky but this is
Then she picked up ours!
T E C L A
398 Fifth Avenue, New York
10 Rue de la Paix, Paris
In his copy for Tecla Pearls, Frank Irving Fletcher has actually put the
burden of proof on the oyster.
yS Making Advertisements
as accurate an impression of the product's char-
acter as he could get from a five-minute selling
talk by an expert salesman. Advertising's ne-
cessity has been the mother of its invention; if
it has only the flash of an eye in which to create
its atmosphere it will do it in that instant — if
it is good advertising.
There are some people, of course, who want
you to give them artichokes instead of cabbage
and want it publicly announced that they are
getting artichokes. Secretly they may prefer
cabbage, but they like to have people think that
they wear gardenias to business. Those people
keep in mind constantly what the neighbors say.
They like the idea of getting away with some-
thing. They will reject a good piece of mer-
chandise for a poorer one if the poorer one has
points of resemblance to a much higher priced
piece of merchandise. There are several ex-
amples of this in the motor car world.
But society advertising which talks like a
middle-class Londoner fools very few people.
In America handkerchiefs are still worn in
pockets. Perhaps you smiled at the story of the
Western miner who, in despair at the Waldorf
menu, ordered fifty dollars' worth of ham-and-
eggs, but in your heart you admired him. The
only way for a rough diamond to seem real with
real people is to be rough.
He wanted to buy his ham-and-eggs at the
place where he understood they sold the best
ham and the best eggs. Merchants realized this
human trait. A certain concern once adver-
tised a $350 watch. Only a half dozen of them
were made. They weren't intended to sell.
But the fact that this company could make a
watch worth $350 sold hundreds of $35 watches.
A well-known hat concern advertised a $25 felt
hat — not because it would be bought but be-
cause it would make its $5 hats seem much more
In selling to the masses, Marshall Field & Co.
recognize this, as you will see from this article
appearing in Printers' Ink:
" To get atmosphere and contrast, Marshall
Field & Co. give prominent display to expensive
articles taking valuable space which would sell
directly much greater quantities of popular
" That is why we displayed, in our most valu-
able window during the last August fur sale a
$7500 Hudson sable coat; that is why we have
8o Making Advertisements
displayed and sold men's cravats as high as $10;
$4000 bedroom sets, $4500 dining room sets,
$10,000 rugs, a $25,000 painting, $2400 Cheney
phonographs, $85 ready-to-wear suits for men,
$25 hats for men, $35,000 pearl necklaces, china
service plates at $3000 a dozen. People reason
that if a store carries merchandise like this the
proportionate quality must exist in lower priced
^' Manufacturers and retailers of quality mer-
chandise with an appeal to a limited market are
often confronted with the problem of how far
they can go in their ^ Classy ' class appeal.
They are afraid of shooting over the heads of
" The success of Ivory Soap, Lux, Community
Silver, Arrow Collars and other marketers of
low-priced merchandise in creating, by adver-
tising, an atmosphere of ^ class ' we find paral-
leled in our own store. We couldn't get the
volume we do entirely on ' class ' merchandise.
Conversely, we couldn't get the desirable ^ bread
and butter ' business without the influence of the
* class.' In other words, Mrs. Jones likes to
trade where Mrs. Lake-Shore-Drive buys, and
Mrs. Lake-Shore-Drive comes here because she
gets merchandise which is in many cases better
than that produced elsewhere, plus ^ Field Ser-
The people who most thoroughly realize the
importance of atmosphere in advertisements are
those who are selling high-priced merchandise.
To them '' atmosphere " means only " refined
atmosphere " just as to them the word '^ quality "
means only '^ high quality." In a play about
life in the slums, the atmosphere may be squalid.
And if you ask a wrong-headed salesman about
his competitor's goods you will find that quality
may be poor. But sellers of high-priced mer-
chandise look only at the bright side when they
speak of atmosphere and quality.
So they have devised a technique of their own
in copy, picture and type. To many people it is,
just as it probably always will be, incomprehen-
sible, especially in pictures.
Why, they ask, should we have this race of flat-
chested young men with vacant stares, whose
chins are too small and hats are too large? Why
should they prowl their way through the pages
of magazines and newspapers, driving their mo-
tor-cars, smoking their cigarettes, sipping their
drinks and — most of all — wearing their
clothes with such an air of being bored with
THAT IS ALL
Like the alimony which- is the last
link between an incompatible couple,
the only thing which our men*s hand-
tailored clothes have in common with
machine -made clothes is the price.
Men's Suits ^25 to ^$, Overcoats, ^so to ^8$.
J^en's Shops, 2 to 8 West 38* Street— Street Level
You probably won't find many people who actually look like this, but they
are the symbols of fashion. By his brilliant and sophisticated copy Frank
Irving Fletcher has been able to throw around the Franklin Simon adver-
tising a note of well-bred style without foppishness.
And why should their wives, sisters and sweet-
hearts glance up at us from the printed pages
like startled fawns, covering their chins with furs
or uncovering their throats with pearls — so
slim-fingered, so marvelously coiffed, and so dia-
Obviously they are symbols. They stand for
what is technically called class. And of course
there are very few type-faces worthy of associa-
tion with this race. They like the restraint and
stateliness of Bodoni, the delicacy of Kennerley
or its sisters Goudy and Cloister Old Style and
at times they are in the mood for the absolute
purity of Caslon Oldstyle No. 471.
Occasionally they go wild — reaching out af-
ter some of the decorative types whose origina-
tors must have set themselves the task of design-
ing the most intricate possible network of fine
lines. Certainly they never could have intended
their handiwork to be read.
In a word, the constant effort for effects some-
times lays itself open to the suspicion of intro-
ducing a false, not to say a falsetto, note. Par-
ticularly is this true in the words, the copy, that
accompanies atmospheric designs.
There is a certain kind of copy concerning it-
self with fashions which has developed a lan-
guage all its own. It is the direct lingual de-
scendant of the London merchants who adver-
tised that they were purveyors of everything
84 Making Advertisements
from top hats to marmalade to His Majesty the
In its place, and when employed for the right
purpose, copy of this sort has its legitimate use.
A Fifth Avenue jeweler whose name is known
all over the world may put that name in the cen-
ter of a page of white space, adding nothing ex-
cept the words '' Diamonds and pearls " and the
phrase " Purchases may be made by mail." But
there is nothing more absurd than a piece of copy
which is only fine writing. Quiller-Couch has
a splendid piece of advice for this:
" Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate
a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it —
whole-heartedly — and delete it before sending
your manuscript to press. Murder your dar-
A man runs a shop selling women's clothes at
popular prices. One day his ambition soars and
he decides to become more exclusive. Some one
digs up an antique French border design for
him, has his name lettered by hand, and changes
the headline which used to read '' Prices Slashed
on Ladies' Suits " to " Unusual Price Conces-
sions in Women's Apparel."
And yet the appalling fact about advertising
is that it can and does change the character of
an establishment. Just when you decide that
the sort of quality copy used by a merchant is en-
tirely out of keeping with his business, you wake
up to find that it has completely changed the
class of his trade and that he is moving his shop
to a better neighborhood where his new custo-
mers prefer to shop. The history of many lead-
ing merchants in our large cities is the strongest
proof of advertising power as a democratic
force. It has lifted countless struggling mer-
chants out of the sidestreets and onto the boule-
vards. Its atmosphere can crystallize the ideal
of a business more accurately than many spoken
All the sparkle and persuasion and drive of
good advertising copy comes when the person
who wrote it was so filled with belief in his sub-
ject that he couldn't wait to get his enthusiasm
down on paper. If there is one quality that
least can be spared from copy it is sincerity.
A well-known advertising agent had just
finished an informal talk before a group of news-
paper representatives and had thrown the meet-
ing open for questions.
" What do you consider the most important
thing in copy? " asked one man.
Without hesitating a second, the agent re-
You can strip an advertisement of almost any-
thing else — beauty of form, clarity of expres-
sion, taste of arrangement, excellence of idea —
and still you will have something left, something
that will reach out and grasp people, if your
advertisement rings true.
90 Making Advertisements
People often point out the great variation be-
tween the advertisements of two successful ad-
'' Which one is good advertising? " they ask.
" This one violates every standard of taste and
yet there is something about it that gives it as
much power as that beautiful advertisement."
Sincerity is the reason. Two advertisements
may be as different as a subway guard and an
Episcopal bishop and yet each one will make its
appeal. Advertisements are like people. If a
man is sincere you can forgive him almost any-
thing. One salesman comes to see you with a
manner that is so abrupt or so shy that your first
impulse is to tell him to go out again into the rain
which drove him into your office. And yet if
he is sincere, if he honestly believes in what he is
selling, and you give him half a chance, he will
probably leave as good an impression with you
as the man whose manners carry a high polish.
It's equally true that a lack of sincerity can
ruin the best materials ever used in the construc-
tion of an advertisement. Take a drawing made
by an artist whose technique is faultless but who
has the idea that he is going slumming whenever
he dips into commercial art, combine it with a
THE GLORY OF THE UPWARD PATH
A« iold in the. letters of men who are travelling it
Two pafiis bepB at the bottom
of the hiD of life.
One of them winds about the base,
thru years of routine and drudgery.
Now and then it rises over a Itnoll
representing a little higher plane of
living made possible by hard earned
progress; but its route is slow and
difficult and bordered with inon>
The other mounts slowly at first,
but rapidly afterwards, into posi-
tions where every problem is new
and stirring, and where the regards
are comfort, and travel and freedom
from all fear-
Let us glance for a moment at'the
letters men write who ere treading
this fortunate path. Such letters
come to the Alexander Hamilton
Institute in every mail; they are
the most thrilling feature of the
Institute's business day.
Exultant letters they are, full of
hope and happiness; the bulletins
of progress on the upward path.
My income ha* inereatei
7 SO per cent
HERE is one from an official in
the largest enterprise ,of its
kind in the world. "In the past
eiglit years my income haa in-
creased 750%. The Course has-
been the foundation in my business
Another from an officer in a
successful manufacturing company:
"Last Friday was a happy day for
me; I wa-t elected a member of the heighu of executive responaibiliQ*
Board of Directors of this company, and reward which lie at the end of
The day when I enrolled with the the upward path.
Alexander Hamilton Institute wa*
the turning point in my career " "«» «'• paying uhethef yon
profit or nof_
Whole volumes could be filled __ ^ . .
with letters of this sort. A few of V '^'^ *°"'f ""."«* '" ."r '^'T
them have been printed in the I »rt payrg for bu.me« tr..n.ng irtmto
Institute's book entitled "Forging . y^ ^ i^ <" <^ Nevvthek- U
Ahead In Business." Thousands of "V?'^ . ^^ r _. ^.
others are open records in the ^^ "1 **'1"« *" '^"^ -l.T*^!
Institute's ofW P™?"" ***". '"* ""^^ "I'?*"^^ "P'**
•od nif*: paying in opportvuciet tut pu*
In the past ten years the Alexan- you by becau«c you h»v« netsh* traiaJot
der Hamilton Institute has enrolled or «l(-cooi6<l»c« to retch cut »i>d ft»»p
thousands of men in its Modern tbtm; paying ia ye»f» o( routine (crvlot
Business Course and Service; and when you might enjoy the fiiniulu»»ndlh«
to-day the monthly rate of enrol- gloty et the upward p«th<
ment is more than-three times as e j # tie -» .. it..^j
great as ever before. •*«'*« '*' Forging ^htt
They ere men uho art rpHOUSANDS ot iwa. h»v« tak«a th«
mofing up I tnt d<£nite tta> up. by seeding for
* the I lA page book which the AWander
THESE were men, not boys, Hamilton lt»titute pnbli»bes cntitled-
1 .1 11 J - ft. • "Forging Ahead In Bnunos-" It eontatna
wien they enrolled. Their ,x»rth while bu«nea. information, and
average age was thirty-three years, letter* from men in poiiitoiu eaetly timilar
They had already made their start !? >:™fLJ'>"ilJ*?' '^'iJi'^
* ' - ^t t t • tion; there i* a c^'py 'of wtry tnth of
robustness; they were succewful m ^ouapu»po«. Send for tw copy «(«Uy.
one department — m selhng, or ac-
counting, in production, or banking, Akuitdcr Hamilton InatltuU
mJ^^I^nf' '^ ''"'**"^ *" **^" »*K^ru» •fc.y-ko., /pv
management- ._«—-—••«»•«-»«.,., ^c^*
The Alexander HamiltM Insti- i^S^'iis'SiSl"'"*"** "'''^- 1^
tute rounded out their knowledge by
giving them the fundamentals of all
departments of business. Few men
in biisiness ever gain that all-round ■«
knowledge: so few that thexhmand ^
for them is always in excess, of the
They are the men who reach the po.'i';""'
Thf narrative form of copy has made a place for itself in advertising which
calls for direct and immediate action on the part of the reader. Bruce Bar-
ton finds that in the Alexander Hamilton Institute advertisements, a very
effective method is the human, inspirational style that stirs such a response
from his editorials and articles in the magazines.
92 Making Advertisements
few vapid words by a writer whose chief interest
in the advertisement is to finish it before lunch,
have these words put into type and the two ele-
ments arranged by a designer whose life is
spoiled because he didn't think of making Type
Charts before Ben Sherbow did, and what do
you have? A pleasing advertisement, perhaps,
representing several hundreds of dollars in its
manufacture and several thousands in its prog-
ress to the public eye through magazine space,
but without a flicker of spirit and life and what
has been latterly called jazz.
There ought to be something about an adver-
tisement as contagious as the measles. Without
sincerity an advertisement is no more contagious
than a sprained ankle.
Measure the advertisements that you see by
this standard of sincerity. See how this quality
permeates the familiar campaigns that have been
swinging along at a successful gait from one sea-
son to another. And see how it is absent from
those campaigns which seem to be forever start-
ing, stopping, taking fresh starts and then dying
out altogether just when they appear to be almost
ready to go.
What is this quality" called sincerity and how
Good Apple Pie is making the Hotel Belleclaire. 77th St. and
Broadway, famous. Who would think such a thing was possible?
You see how important it is to look after the smallest detaiU.in
Good pastry cooks and good cooks b other lines axe big helps in
making a hotel popular.
The Apple Pie made is so good that families for blocks around die
Belleclaire telephone 9100 Schuyler — "Please send us an Apple Pie."
It is sent And wherever it goes it makes friends for the hotel.
The Belleclaire is not in the bakery business, but it is a Service
Hotel. It sends whole meals to families living in ^e neighborhood
whenever they want them.
It is an accommodation, that's all — but it pays to be accpmmodat'
ing. It certainly pays in adding to reputation, if it does not pay in
any other way.
Here is a story of a Belleclaire Apple Pie sent to a man's home at
1 o'clock last Sunday night The man himself told it in the presence
of the writer in the Belleclaire Barber Shop last Monday morning:
"We were motoring yesterday and had a late dinner. We did not
I think we would want any Sunday ni^t supper, but around 1 o'clock
we felt hungry, so I telephoned the Belleclaire to send a'roui^ some
Swiss cheese sandwiches, made of rye bread, and an Apple Pie.
"And, say, that Apple Pie was great! The pastry cook %vho
makes it should be decorated with the Iron Cross. He must have spent
a great part of his life in an apple orchard. He certainly knows what
to do with apples in an Apple Pie.
It must be good Apple Pie, or who could eat it at 10 o'clock at
ni^t. following a suRsly of Swiss cheese «andwiches, and live to tell
the tale .the next day?
The other food articles served at the B^eclake are just as good
as the Apple Pie.
Rotert D. Blackman.
Manager, Hotel Belleclaire.
// there is one quality that stands out in William C. Freeman's copy it is
sincerity. This advertisement caused hundreds of New Yorkers to send
around to the Hotel Belleclaire for apple pies.
94 Making Advertisements
can it be obtained for an advertisement? Pres-
ently a number of suggestions will be offered,
some of which may be found useful in achieving
sincerity. But this is one underlying general
truth which may well be regarded before enter-
ing upon a detailed consideration:
Somewhere at the very heart of every success-
ful campaign is some individual who radiates
his enthusiasm for the product and the idea be-
hind it. He refuses to be satisfied with less than
his own mental picture of what the advertising's
reflection of that idea shall be. He fights for
his belief. And eventually some of his own fire
creeps into the copy.
Whether it is only a smouldering glow or a
raging blaze usually depends upon this individ-
ual's distance from the finished advertisements.
If he IS inside of the advertiser's own organiza-
tion and if he must pass along his enthusiasm
through three or four intermediaries until it
reaches a copy man hidden away in the dark
recesses of an agency's service department a lot
of the original heat will have cooled.
If he happens to be the head of a manufactur-
ing business and he gives his thoughts to his
sales manager who relays them to his advertising
manager who passes them on to an agency's ex-
ecutive and the agency's representative deals out
the ideas to the head of a copy department and
the copy chief assigns the job to one of his bright
young men, what chance has enthusiasm to sur-
The campaign, in that case, is actually written
by a man who is lucky if he even gets a sample of
the product. Ordinarily his greatest source of
information is stale " literature." And it's one
of a dozen jobs that pass over his desk in the
course of a week — that and nothing more.
As you cut out each stage of separation from
the enthusiasm to the man who writes the cam-
paign, you increase the chances of finding sin-
cerity in the finished result. And that, after all,
is suggestion number one.
The head of a business wrapped up in the suc-
cess of his enterprise is able to communicate his
enthusiasm to those associated with him. He
honestly believes that in making its product the
company is serving its country more valuably
than any other business on earth. He isn't try-
ing to fool anybody — not even himself. He has
thought over this thing so intensively that he sees
in it possibilities which no one else imagines.
g6 Making Advertisements
It is said that the Priority Board in Washing-
ton was approached by the representatives of
every sort of industry — men who manufactured
everything from steam shovels to candy and
from locomotives to perfume — all of them en-
thusiastically declaring that their industries were
essential. It cannot be claimed that all, or any
great share of them, were trying to fool the Gov-
ernment. They were simply sincere business
men, so engrossed in their lines of business that
they could not conceive of greater importance
attaching itself to any other industry. To each
one it seemed imperative that he be permitted to
go his way, manufacturing his product and thus
helping to win the war.
Because men of this type are scattered through
American business, this country is particularly
rich in successes built in a remarkably short
time. Men are willing to make tremendous
sacrifices of time, energy and personal comfort
because they believe in a business so sincerely
that they want to save every possible minute in
telling others about it. Men like this, when
they understand advertising, have the patience
and vision to use advertising effectively. And
they insist that in their advertising shall be that
same fire of sincerity which they themselves
A man like that is an advertising man's most
valuable point of contact in any organization.
Too many of the men met in factories and execu-
tive offices have been so busy studying their ow^n
work that they have gathered no grasp of the
business as a whole ; or they have been over the
same ground so often that they have ceased to
consider it exciting. But usually there is one
man for whom the lustre hasn't worn off. He
may be the president or the general manager.
He may be the advertising manager or an assist-
ant advertising manager or a plant superinten-
dent or a sales manager. He may be a salesman
— one who has refused opportunities to do exec-
utive work because he has something of the mis-
sionary in him and he loves to spread the tidings
of his product among the trade. Whoever and
wherever he is, he is worth finding. For he has
Occasionally the outside advertising man him-
self is the one who supplies the note of sincerity
that creates an advertising success. Looking
upon a business with eyes that have not been
dimmed by disappointment, he sees possibilities
98 Making Advertisements
which no one inside the organization has
glimpsed. He fights for his ideal of what the
campaign should be and by sheer weight of en-
thusiasm pulls a backward advertiser to success
in spite of himself.
A moment ago something was said about sug-
gestions for achieving sincerity in advertising.
That was the wrong word ; you can't achieve sin-
cerity. If it isn't there, it can't be created. But
it can be allowed to project itself into advertis-
ing. The forces that smother it can be held
back. It can flourish and grow if it has half a
One good rule to follow is to cut out most first
paragraphs of advertising copy.
Once a young copy writer wrote a booklet
which had what he considered a particularly
able beginning. His boss read the first page and
then carefully drew his pencil through the first
'^ But youVe cut out my whole introduction,"
the young man protested.
" Exactly," said the boss, " you are like an
acrobat who comes out, wipes off his hands,
tosses away his handkerchief, puts rosin on his
feet and then starts to work. We haven't room
for the preliminaries in advertising."
Very often when a person starts to write copy
he hasn't a very clear idea of just how he wants
to start. So he will grope his way through sev-
eral sentences and then, by that exercise, his
mind opens up and he swiftly re-states in a sec-
ond paragraph exactly what he was trying to
say at first. But he forgets to cross out the first
paragraph which, after all, was only practice.
And he is hurt when some one says, " It takes you
too long to get into your subject."
Careful writers realize that if a first para-
graph isn't good, it doesn't matter much what
goes into the second paragraph because mighty
few people will read that far.
Archie Fowler, The Suns Washington cor-
respondent at the time of his early death, sat in
front of his typewriter one night jingling the
keys. He sat there for forty-five minutes with-
out writing a word and he had just come into the
New York office after a long trip with Mr. Taft
who was then President. And it was within an
hour of press-time!
But when he started, he stopped only long
enough to put fresh paper in his typewriter.
And in less than an hour he had written two
columns in the style that was all his own — care-
lOO Making Advertisements
ful, accurate, with a grasp of his whole subject,
lighted up by revealing, whimsical incidents.
Some one who had watched him said as he fin-
" Had a hard time getting started tonight,
didn't you? "
" I'd rather write a dozen columns," he said,
" than one lead."
A third way to leave the way clear for sincerity
in copy is to keep out artificial tricks and super-
ficial stunts. There are legitimate devices which
make copy vivid and responsive, but the path
is strewn with ideas that looked brilliant and
weren't, with trade characters which warped
whole selling plans, with adjectives upon which
thousands were spent before it was found that
they weren't descriptive, with an attempt at con-
tinuity in a series where one or two advertise-
ments were natural and good and the rest were
painfully strained to fill out the duration of the
One of the most spectacular failures in adver-
tising was scarcely an advertising failure. It
was a merchandising failure. A certain product
of doubtful merit was advertised by a trade char-
acter — one of the funniest and most appealing
One advantage of cm-
ploying a contractor with
a reputation is that he has
got to maintain on your
job the reputation. he has
made on a hundred others.
The shortest distance
between two points is the
As an up-to-date build-
ing organization we arc
sometimes a little ahead
of time, like the Christ-
mas magazines that come
out in Novcmbcrl
We arc the last place to
come to for delay, but the
first place to come to to
When New York advertisers speak of small-space copy, tluy usually
mention the Thomps on-Star rett Company's advertising. It is interesting
not for itself alone hut because it was thf first copy written by Frank Irving
Fletcher who now writes a dozen conspicuous campaigns. Other specimens
of the extraordinarily high standard of his work are shown in these pages.
I02 Making Advertisements
characters that ever found its way into the pages
of newspapers and magazines and onto the bill-
boards. He was a hit because he typified a na-
tional characteristic. He jumped into current
slang. People called their friends by his name.
In fact he was so clever that people thought of
him and not of the product that he advertised.
He dumbfounded the manufacturers of his
product by the volume of his sales. For in
their heart of hearts they must have known that
the product wasn't especially good.
They had intended to improve the product but
when the popular response was so great they
failed to see the necessity of making the mer-
chandise as good as the advertising. They
didn't realize that one of the fundamentals of
advertising is that a product must have merit.
Advertising tells too many people about a prod-
uct; if it isn't good, somebody will find it out.
Advertising, by extending a product's acquaint-
ances, makes either friends or enemies. It all
depends upon the product's worth.
Then an astonishing thing happened. They
stopped advertising, believing that they had won
their market. And their sales flattened out al-
most overnight. It is never safe to stop consis-
THE STORY OF RE VILLON FURS
Tukalook and his Wife
THE Eskimo trapper is honest and gentle but
primitive in his ways. He lives in a snow hut
built of large snow blocks, which he cuts with huge
knives made for the purpose. These snow knives are
among the trading articles most in demand in the
Hudson's Bay district. Field glasses are also very
highly prized, as they enable the Eskimo hunter to
see at a distance the herds of caribou which furnish
his winter's meat supply,
Mrs. Tukalook wears furs, and she can skin very
expertly the animals her husband traps, but she
knows nothing of the subsequent processes by which
furs are made into the smart coats and sets offered to
Revillon patrons in the New York and Paris stores.
Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street
A great deal oj comment was created by this unusual series by the Churchill-
I04 Making Advertisements
tent advertising of a good product; too many
competitors are always just around the corner
waiting to take your place in the public's atten-
tion. But when advertising is stopped on a poor
product, there is nothing left. When you apply
a lighted cigarette to a toy balloon there can be
but one result.
The advertising in this case had been a stunt.
Properly backed by a good product and con-
tinued on an intelligent basis, it would have built
up a satisfactory, consistent volume of sales.
But, because the product wasn't up to standard,
the advertising couldn't make repeat sales. It
sold plenty of new customers every day, but when
the advertising stopped, so did the sales. The
first mistake, of course, was in spending so much
money on an inferior product; for nothing will
make a big success with advertising which
would not make a moderate success without ad-
vertising. The second mistake was in giving
the advertising cleverness but not sincerity.
Clever, as it was, the copy was not sincere be-
cause there was nothing much that could be sin-
cerely said about the product. So a fourth good
idea in making sure of sincerity in copy is to
see to it that the product is worthy of all the fine
things that are said about it. That was the mer-
chandising failure in the campaign. Bear in
mind that merchandising means simply to trade,
to buy and sell. To buy something of doubtful
merit is merely stupid. To sell something of
doubtful merit is dishonest. Such a funda-
mental error in merchandising as to sell an infe-
rior article by pumping up the sales through
advertising is like inflating a punctured tire.
What you say may be sound enough but the sales
volume won't stick because there is a leak in
There was another fault in this campaign.
The advertising was too clever. It drew atten-
tion to itself instead of to the product; though
perhaps that was just as well in this case since
there might not have been any first sales, to say
nothing of repeat orders, if people had been al-
lowed to think too much about the product.
As a rule, though, manufacturers are not
afraid of letting people think about their prod-
ucts. In fact that is the one thing they most hope
to accomplish through their advertising. And
advertising that is too clever is like a smart-
alecky child. It says, ''Look at me!" And
most people prefer to look the other way.
io6 Making Advertisements
Even when it attracts attention, it is like an
actor who emphasizes his own eccentricities so
strongly that you always see the actor and never
Take half a dozen of the cleverest slogans you
know — not the most effective, but the cleverest
— and ask a dozen people what these slogans
advertise. You will find that while almost
every one remembers the slogan, the number of
people who link it with its product is surpris-
Often you hear a person say:
" That was a mighty clever advertisement I
saw the other day — put out by some cigarette
concern — the one that said " — and so on.
'' What cigarette was that? " you ask. " I don't
remember " is the reply. '' You must have seen
it. It was some cigarette.''
They remember what the advertisement said
but they forget what it advertised. The trick
caught their fancy but the argument missed their
But a slogan can be clever and still keep your
mind fixed on what it advertises. Slogans like
" If it isn't an Eastman, it isn't a kodak," or
"Never say Dye — say Rit" have all the de-
sired piquancy and still they never could be
mistaken for advertisements of anything other
than Kodaks and Rit.
Many people still seem to believe that attract-
ing attention is the greatest function of adver-
tising and that even unfavorable attention is
preferable to being ignored. They point to the
Ford jokes and say, " Look how many cars they
It is useless to speculate on whether Mr. Ford
would have sold more cars if there had been no
jokes. But it is safe to say that the basis of his
success was not bad jokes but good engines.
Perhaps it is fair to say that any manufacturer
who produces something so good that it outdis-
tances competition, for so little that it is within
the reach of the many, is a law unto himself.
But unfortunately most advertisers are operating
in a highly competitive field and to them it is im-
portant, if their advertising is to be sincere, that
they inspire respect rather than merriment.
It is not sufficient that they make people talk.
The German people have made a great many
people talk about them in the past five years, but
it has not advanced their position in the esteem
of the world. If you would let sincerity per-
io8 Making Advertisements
vade your advertising, don't let people laugh at
you. Let them laugh with you — or, better yet,
smile with you — but ridicule is a mighty hin-
drance to the respect that is inspired by sincerity.
There is a certain type of copy which is full
of pitfalls for sincerity. That is copy which
takes the form of dialogue or direct discourse.
When an advertisement is written as people are
supposed to talk, the danger signals should go
'' I now have more attractive clothes, yet save
half," says the headline of an advertisement
about lessons in dressmaking. Would any wo-
man ever say " Yet save half "?
A golf ball advertisement shows a story-book
Scotchman saying, ^' The mon wha plays th' —
haes the honor at every tee."
What if his opponent used the same ball?
Who would have the honor then?
The conversational form doesn't ring true in
either case. One is stilted; the other develops
a bad slice ofif the fairway of fact.
If copy is to talk, it must talk like people.
Many of our magazines show Mrs. Housewife
entertaining a caller with a description of the
household device in the corner. She is saying:
" Yes, Edith, like you for years I failed to see
the advantages of the Household Helper with
its superior workmanship, quality materials, and
eight points of advantage. Then on our wed-
ding anniversary, John brought it home and now
I have plenty of time for calling, shopping, go-
ing to the movies, embroidery, basket-weaving,
skating, golf, playing the saxophone and read-
ing snappy novels."
People talk that way — in advertisements.
Oh, yes they do. But they shouldn't. When
copy goes into the first person it must be as true
to character in choice of words and truth of
viewpoint as the lines of the people in a play.
It can't talk like a sales catalogue and still sound
natural. It can't drag in talking points and still
be real. It can't offer an argument that any one
can shoot full of holes and still be convincing.
A recent piece of recruiting copy for the
United States Army started like this:
• When I got out of the Army, I raised my right
hand over my derby and said, " Never again, I
And I am here to state that I was just one of
about 3,000,000 who felt that — only stronger.
It was my privilege to kick, and believe me, I did.
I couldn't get out too quick — I wanted a feather
no Making Advertisements
bed, restaurant food and trousers that flapped
around my ankles.
But now that I'm out, civil life is not all that we
cracked it up to be! And the Army looks like a
pretty good place, after all.
That was written by an advertising man named
Tom Ryan — a former captain of artillery who
knew at first hand what he was writing about.
It rang true with army men, officers and soldiers
alike, and with civilians too. It was in char-
acter. It stuck to the facts. A man who had
not been in the army could never have written
that copy. There was nothing in it that
could make an ex-doughboy exclaim: ''Aw,
It had the quality which O. H. Blackman calls
'' reverse English " — the strength of under-
statement, the restraint which gives a feeling of
confidence and latent power.
It is the quality which distinguishes the con-
versation of S. Wilbur Corman and which he
has put into his own copy and was caught so
effectively by his associate, Jim Adams, in the
Mennen's Shaving Cream campaign.
Years ago it was present in the marvelous ad-
vertising copy written by the late John O.
You Biggest City
in the World!
Always in a hurry—aren't you? You
ire 80 crowded for lime that you can
never spare more than half an hour to
watch a man crawl up the (ace of a
skyscraper, or to study h6w a chauffeur
puts on a new tire, or to learn from
a window demonstrator about an auto-
Givt me one minute and I'll show
you how to enjoy shaving every morn-
ing for the rest of your life. Isn't that a
more instructive use of a minute than to
watch them frying flapjacks in a Childs*
The reason that you find shaving so painful is because you
rub half dissolved. causUc soap into the pores, raising a lot of
tiny blood blisters which the razor slices off. The trouble isn't
tut your beard is tou&h or your skin tender — your soaj* is
bad and your method is wrong.
Get a tube of Mennen Shaving Cream-'wbich perfectly
softens the toughest beard without rubbing in with fingers.
Squeeze half-an-incb of cream onto a brush that is full of
cold water. Whip up a lathcf on tim point of your chin
and spread gradually over the face, adding water constantly.
Use three Umes as much water as any ordinary lather will carry.
Work this Mennen lather in for three minutes with the brush
only. Keep your fingers out of it.
Then enjoy the most glorious shave Of yoof shaving earcef.
Note afterwards that your face doesn't (eel as if someone
had rubbed salt into it but on the contrary is smooth and free
Come on— New York— be • sport T
Give Mennen'8 a trial and be not only the biggfest but the
NENNtN SAUSMAN ^
Jto Henry «ayt-''What 1 Uke aboot New York b d»»t it
rcmiadt me of evenr odMr cooatry town."'
Sometimes an advertiser thinks the public must he flattered. Wilbur Gor-
man and Jim Adams take New York by the throat in this piece of copy.
And they sell lot of shaving cream in the process.
112 Making Advertisements
Powers for Macbeth lamp chimneys. If mem-
ory can be trusted, one of those advertisements
said : ^' I make poor lamp chimneys, too. But I
don't put my name on them."
More and more the desire for sincerity in ad-
vertising is developing this quality of under-
statement. Some one once observed that noth-
ing could be said about a twenty-five cent cigar
that had not been said already about a five cent
cigar. The day of superlatives has passed.
Every product can't be the best. The careful
magazines have done wonders in not only dis-
couraging the use of superlatives but in actually
censoring them out of copy. Today copy must
be more than hollow boasting. Every product
has its advantages. They need not be exclusive.
One great difference between advertising and
other forms of descriptive writing is that in ad-
vertising you tell only your own story. The
other man may be able to say all that you can
say, but you happen to be paying for the adver-
tising space and so it is your privilege to tell
your own story and remain silent about the other
man and his product. And the public associates
attributes, which may be common to many, with
the business house which most persistently and
Each year advertising becomes more believable as
advertisers get a little older.
Most lies are told by children, not with the intent
to deceive but inspired by the seeming necessity for
The new advertiser wants to attract attention in a
babel of voices, all demanding a hearing.
So he shouts and screams and bellov/s with best of
intention and with little result.
He means no harm, but just wants to be heard and
doesn't realize that his voice is cracking.
As he grows older, he learns that red, after all, has
only 60% of the strength of black, and that to be
believed is more than just to be heard.
Don't you agree that as advertising grows oldex —
it grows milder and stronger?
Advert'tswg space in the Butterici publications
is for salt hy accredited advertising agencies.
BUtterick — Publisher
Tvio dollars the vear, each
It would he impossible to estimate the good done to Advertising by such
home-truths as these, fathered by Stanley Latshaw, and freely circulated in
many newspapers hy the Butterick Publishing Company.
114 Making Advertisements
emphatically establishes its right to own those
All that advertising needs to do is to show the
merchandise, describe it truthfully and keep on
doing these things — forever.
There is no question but that a first-hand ac-
quaintance with a piece of merchandise or an
idea that is being sold will make for greater sin-
cerity in copy. It eliminates the possibility of
the superficial treatment that is the curse of too
much advertising. And yet there is no reason to
assume that a man cannot describe a sensation
unless he himself has experienced it.
A few years ago Stephen French Whitman
wrote a remarkable novel called '' Predestined.''
It told the story of a young New Yorker's slide
downward through several strata of society. A
writer for the book pages of a New York paper
asked Mr. Whitman, with pardonable hesita-
tion in the light of his hero's history, whether he
thought a man had to go through an experience
to describe it correctly.
" There was a man named Flaubert," said Mr.
Whitman, '' who wrote a book called Madame
Bovary. It describes the feelings and thoughts
of a country doctor's wife in her unhappy mar-
ried life. Nothing could be more intimate or
sympathetic or photographic. And yet it is safe
to say that Flaubert was never the unhappily
married wife of a country doctor! "
The idea of an advertising man personally ex-
periencing the uses of all the products which he
advertises suggests a curious picture. Imagine
an advertising man at his desk trying a new pipe
tobacco while he shaves with a new safety razor
with one hand and works out problems on a new
calculating machine with the other. How
would men ever be able to write copy about lin-
gerie and how could women write about cigars?
Yet they do. Even advertising writers must be
assumed to have some imagination.
Lawyers have their offices lined with prece-
dents. They can pull down calf-skin volumes
and show you that even as far back as the Magna
Charta it was possible to pry a client out of jail
with nothing to work with but a writ of habeas
corpus. And in common law states, lawyers
say, they are still doing business on the prin-
ciples which exasperated Cicero.
Ask an architect whether the cornice on the
new post office is correct, and he will go through
the cathedral towers of Europe as swiftly and as
surely as a German shell. He can tell you about
the building plan of the first Egyptian temple
more easily than an advertising man can tell you
about the selling plan of the first Egyptian cig-
Look at the precedents a doctor has! They
talk a lot about modern medicine, but some prac-
titioner in the day of Socrates taught him how to
mix a very efficacious poison by the simple com-
I20 Making Advertisements
bination of a few scraps of hemlock stirred in a
cup of cold water.
Observe their clinics. Consider the number
of cases which a doctor can watch in a week.
And then think of an advertising man's handicap
in being obliged to wait months or even years to
see whether his prescription is right or fatal.
For one idea, though, advertising is indebted to
the medical profession. That's the ^^ alibi " about
the success of the operation in spite of the pa-
tient's death. How true it is that an advertising
campaign frequently does everything expected
of it except sell the goods!
There will be some who will point to bound
volumes of our very excellent trade papers and
to boundless pages of hand-picked investigations.
But compared to the law, medicine, engineering,
architecture, acting, plumbing, cab-driving,
teaching, keeping store, banking, contracting,
farming, publishing or any other of our sister
professions, advertising has no more guide posts
than the Atlantic Ocean. With all the avail-
able data on tap, the advertising man still has
to answer a lot of questions by ear. Putting it
another way, the best guide he has is his common
Common Sense 121
The most successful advertising campaigns al-
ways seem to be those which are founded on a
perfectly simple idea — just the application of
common sense to selling.
If you want people to write to you for one of
your booklets, it's been proved that the best way
is to display a picture of your booklet at the top
of your advertisement with a headline not about
your product but about your booklet. That is
only common sense. And yet many advertisers
who put their booklet offers in very small type
at the bottom of advertisements wonder why
they don't get more inquiries. If a shop-keeper
wants inquiries about an article, he displays it in
his window. He doesn't hide it under the coun-
ter at the back of his store. If an advertiser
wants inquiries, and still more inquiries, he can
get them if he devotes enough of his space to his
offer. Whether it is always wise to go out after
inquiries is another story. The point here is that
if a man wants them, all he needs to do is exer-
cise as much common sense as he would if he
were dealing with people face to face.
Occasionally some one looks very solemn and
announces a great principle of advertising —
such as " Show your product in action."
122 Making Advertisements
Rightly staged, that simple idea can be made
to sound very weighty and mysterious. And yet
it is a very old and well-established truth.
When the New York Herald building was still
in the up-town theater district crowds used to
stand fascinated at the large plate glass windows
watching the presses turning out tomorrow's pa-
per. The white-clad gentleman who flips pan-
cakes in Childs' windows always has an audi-
ence. There's no question about it; people like
to see a product in action. That's the principle
behind the changing electric sign — the kitten
fighting its way in and out of a tangle of silk, the
fluttering petticoat, and the good old chariot
Fortunately the excessive use of the word psy-
chology is dying out, chiefly because most people
used it to be impressive when what they meant
was common sense. In a New York paper's
business page this item was headed '' Psychology
in Shoe Selling " :
'^ A certain manufacturer of the better grade
shoes for men, who recently had occasion to have
new showroom fixtures installed, insisted that
the wall cases containing the samples should be
made without doors on them. ' There are two
Common Sense 123
reasons for this/ he said yesterday. ' One is that
I have yet to find a door or sliding panel that will
keep dust out of a case, which means that it is not
only necessary to dust the samples but to keep the
glass clean as well. The main reason, however,
is that my experience has shown me that a buyer
is sometimes kept from ordering a model be-
cause he cannot take the shoe in his hand with-
out wrestling with a glass door or slide, or hav-
ing it done for him. The psychological effect of
the glass between him and the sample weakens
his buying desire. It gives him the same feel-
ing that a person with a half a desire to buy
chewing gum is apt to have when confronted
with a box from which none of the packages has
yet been removed. He looks and passes by,
while a ^ broken ' box would have made him
spend his money.' "
Another person might argue that to make the
merchandise too accessible was just as great a
mistake because the surest way to make a man
desire a thing is to make him think he cannot
have it. Tell an advertiser that his copy is not
acceptable to a certain publisher and he will
want nothing in the world so much as to get into
that magazine. A certain concern turned its
124 Making Advertisements
whole merchandising plan inside out a few
years ago to conform to the standards of a news-
paper which had refused its advertising.
It's pretty dangerous business to lay down a set
of rules and say they are based on psychology,
because too often the theory can be upset by the
experience of some one else. A very exclusive
shop on Fifth Avenue finds that it can sell more
merchandise by keeping all its stock hidden be-
hind solid oak panels. One article is brought
out at a time.
Some jewelers prefer to dazzle their custom-
ers by setting before them all at once a whole
constellation of precious stones. Others insist
that the most effective way is to show only two
pieces — the one that they want the customer
to buy and another one to make it look better by
contrast than it would alone.
One of the soundest ideas developed by the
psychologists of business is concerned with this
When is it necessary to go into detailed rea-
sons and when can advertising simply be a re-
minder? Frank Fehlman tells us that reasons
must be given if you arc talking about something
new to the present generation; but if you are ad-
Common Sense 125
vertising a product which our fathers and
grandfathers used there is no necessity for the
Thus you must go into details if you are sell-
ing a refrigerating system or a dictating machine.
But if you are selling soap or tea or bread, you
needn't stop to argue — just remind.
Certainly no one will quarrel with the general
principle of this idea. In fact, it wasn't neces-
sary to hold laboratory tests to establish it.
If a person who has never written an adver-
tisement were asked to prepare two pieces of
copy — one about a cake of yeast and one about a
typewriter — wouldn't he instinctively go into
more details in describing the typewriter than
the yeast? Wouldn't his intuition tell him
that more people knew less about the way
typewriters work than about the way yeast
And yet just when you get a principle safely
nailed down, along comes something to tear it up
again. Just the other day an advertising man
told of his experience with a group of type-
writer salesmen. He had been addressing them
on the selling points of their typewriter and fi-
nally he turned to the most successful one of the
126 Making Advertisements
lot and said : " Won't you tell us what arguments
you have found most effective? "
'' Sure,'' replied the star salesman. " I carry
one of our typewriters into an office and put it
down on a desk and when I get a crowd around
me I jab my finger down on some letter and when
the key snaps back I lean over the machine and
say, ^ See? The blamed thing works! ' "
Scientists have been able to fertilize eggs by
mechanical processes and keep them alive, but
the catch in the secret of life still remains : How
do you make the egg?
Psychology might teach that typewriter sales-
man how to stimulate the interest of his pros-
pects. But he knew a better secret than that.
He knew how to make interest. His common
sense taught him how.
While the war was going on a great many con-
cerns kept up their advertising even though they
had nothing to sell. Many of them were con-
sidered theorists and there was quite a lot of talk
about advertising as insurance. Yet, as their
competitors discovered, it was just plain com-
If you are separated from a person for several
months and you don't write to him, he will begin
Common Sense 127
to forget you. Advertisers who drop out of the
public's sight are always surprised to discover
how soon they are forgotten. Many concerns
are now trying to regain the places which they
held before the war — places taken by competi-
tors who kept their names before the public even
though, or perhaps because, they used all of their
space to promote war measures.
It is not the purpose of these pages to belittle
the earnest work being done by the real psycholo-
gists of business. Perhaps practical men be-
lieve that some of the laboratory tests are not as
valuable as they might be if the subjects were a
little less conscious that they were parts of a test.
But it's all pointing in the right direction, toward
the day which conscientious advertising men
hope to live to see — when advertising will be
an exact science with a full set of dependable
Our quarrel here, if we have a quarrel, is with
those who say psychology when they mean com-
mon sense and a little knowledge of human na-
ture. Like so many other superficialities which
are fast disappearing from advertising as the
public gets better acquainted with it and as
earnest effort has taken the place of bluff, this
128 Making Advertisements
habit of calling simple things by big names is
bound to go.
But it is just as important for the advertiser
to keep his feet on the ground as for the adver-
tising agent. Occasionally an unreasoning prej-
udice is encountered — a blind spot in common
An advertiser was discussing with his agents
the list of publications for his coming cam-
paign. He put his finger on one magazine and
'^ I can't see that magazine. We never get
that at our house.''
As if that mattered! Making up an adver-
tising list from one's own library table is apt to
be one of the quickest, as well as the surest, ways
to seal a campaign's doom.
Another advertiser who has made a tremen-
dous success uses publications which he never
sees except to glance over a copy occasionally to
check his own advertising. He is a very fas-
tidious, metropolitan type of person and yet, as
an advertiser, he knows more about the papers
which search out the rustic communities where
the mail order crop is good than any other adver-
tiser whom his agents ever meet.
Common Sense 129
He uses his head instead of his prejudices.
He lets common sense make up his schedules.
Another advertiser retains a prejudice against
Sunday newspapers. It is futile to remind him
that Sunday papers are made on Saturday nights
and that if his conscience really works it will
keep him out of Monday morning's papers
which are made on Sunday. He doesn't believe
Sunday papers should be read and he is not go-
ing to lend them the weight of his patronage.
Unfortunately others do — among them his com-
If an advertising man were to lose all the at-
tributes of success, one by one, the last one to
sacrifice would be common sense.
It tells him how to study a sales chart for its
weak spots and shows him where intensive news-
paper advertising should be done to bolster up
a poor territory. It points out to him the proper
relation between sales and population and tells
him whether low figures from a group of West-
ern States are caused by poor salesmen or just
by a lack of people who can buy.
It tells him when a manufacturer has a
sufficiently wide distribution of his product to
begin national advertising and helps him select
130 Making Advertisements
a list of magazines whose circulations are spread
over the country in a way that produces the right
amount of pressure everywhere.
It warns him when to go slowly, when to try
out every piece of copy cautiously and when to
throw caution to the winds. It dictates the size
of space, the kind of art work, the choice of type.
Call it what you will, there is no better name for
it than common sense.
THE GREAT MYSTERY
THE GREAT MYSTERY —
A GREAT many people in and out of the adver-
tising business like to think that there is some-
thing rakish about it. They speak of it as a
game, which it is not, of an advertising agency
as a shop, which it is not, and of those who are
engaged in it as clever, which is not at all the
idea or the ideal of most advertising men.
They speak of " ad-writers " and " ad-men "
as a preceding generation spoke of lightning-rod
salesmen ; bright young men, but you must keep
an eye on them. In a certain good agency there
is a standing rule that no one shall say or write
the abbreviation '' ad." Advertisement can be
called adver/tj^ment or ad-y^rtisement, since Mr.
Webster countenances both, but the nickname
'' ad " is as unwelcome to the heads of this agency
as the word " con " would be to a lung-specialist.
The stage is beginning to produce a type of
advertising man built with the same depth of
character study as the stage newspaper-man,
134 Making Advertisements
identified by his note-book and pencil. If you
have ever known a newspaper-man you know
that he may have a few crumpled sheets of copy
paper in his pocket, but he almost always has to
borrow a pencil. And by the same token it is
not always possible to recognize an advertising
man by his plans for acquiring great wealth un-
der shady circumstances. Yet glibness with get-
rich-quick ideas is the characteristic of the ad-
vertising men who have crept into the drama.
Some day some one will write a real play about
Meanwhile this superstition of shrewdness
with a touch of mystery persists. And because
it persists inside as well as outside of the adver-
tising business, people have a great fondness for
coining phrases about it, and borrowing the
phrases of others.
They are not content to speak of a publica-
tion's circulation. They talk of " consumer-ac-
ceptance." They are not satisfied to say that it
goes to retail merchants. They speak of
*^ dealer-influence." They do not stop at saying
that they reach about all the possible buyers of
your product. They say that they '' saturate
your potential market." Or, if they are feeling
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 135
even more exhaustive, they ^' exhaust all your
A period was passed in w^hich the word distri-
bution was as great a fetish in advertising as ef-
ficiency has been in general business circles.
But perhaps that was a healthy period, after all,
for it came at a time when advertisers were in-
dulging themselves in throwing handfuls of
money at full pages in the magazines just to see
it splash. After a few prominent advertisers
had wasted considerable sums in this way it was
pointed out to them that there was no use adver-
tising their products all over the country if those
products were on sale in only a few states along
the Atlantic seaboard.
Apparently that was a new idea to many ad-
vertisers. Without reasoning it out exactly, they
had rather expected advertising to do a little
magic for them, so that when Mrs. Jim Rogers
of Reno, Nevada, went to her local druggist and
asked for their new tooth-paste she would find it
even though the tooth-paste had never been sold
to the trade west of the Mississippi.
Publishers of nationally circulated magazines
realized that if national advertising was to pay
it would have to be supported by something like
136 Making Advertisements
national representation on the shelves of retail
dealers. So the shout went up, " Have you
got distribution? "
And that started the word going the rounds,
until no magazine representative felt that he was
making a workmanlike solicitation unless he
tucked in at least five " distributions " to each
five minutes. And no agency man would let the
conversation drift to anything so commonplace
as copy and media so long as he could pierce his
customer with a searching eye and make him
confess his faults of distribution.
Problem was, and still is, another word ea-
gerly taken up. In a burlesque solicitation pre-
sented at a dinner given by a certain publisher,
the Representative began his talk with the Ad-
vertiser by saying: " I just happened to be in the
building and I thought Vd drop in and ask you
about your problems." This fondness for call-
ing everything a problem was beautifully satired
in a circular recently issued by the George Bat-
ten Company from which these paragraphs are
If you glance over any month's advertising —
national, newspaper, or direct — you can hardly
avoid the conclusion that a large part of our popula-
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 137
tion is running frantically around with a series of
problems to be solved, while a smaller number, like
unselfish schoolboys with " ponies," are standing by
with the solutions of these problems ready to hand.
A certain firm's ready-made suits will solve your
Another man's bean has solved your baked-bean
Somebody's pressed brick can solve your pressed-
There are any number of things that will solve
the housekeeping problem.
A favorite way to conclude advertisements Is,
*' What Is your problem? " or, ^' Let us know your
Now It Is a rather obvious fact that most of these
alleged problems are non-existent. Few smokers
really feel that they have a smoke problem. Few
motorists are conscious of a pIston-rIng problem.
Not many of the just realize that their life Is be-
clouded with an umbrella problem.
They just go serenely along, wishing they had a
little more ready money.
Why, then, so much talk about this problem and
It is because advertising is apt to make the adver-
tiser vain of his product. He needs to be a very
well-balanced, common-sense sort of Individual, else
his advertising will affect him so much more than It
does his consuming public that he will lose his entire
perspective of the public consciousness.
138 Making Advertisements
But of all the words that have been over-
worked in advertising, the greatest of these is
merchandising. It drifted in at about the time
of distribution, but its stay promises to be longer
because it opens up vistas of infinitely greater
variety. Its charm seems to be that it possesses
in greatest measure the characteristic common
to distribution, dealer influence, problem and all
the rest of these trick words — namely, mystery.
If you show that you are familiar with plain
advertising, if you think that writing advertising
sounds easy, if you know a man whose brother-
in-law is an artist and so want to talk art, if your
wife's cousin used to be a printer and you want to
discuss printing — then the mystery man type of
advertising man will tell you that he is not a plain
advertising man; he is a merchandising expert.
And there he has you. For you can't antici-
pate the devious paths into which that word mer-
chandising can lead the conversation. If you
think that merchandising consists of intensive
work with the jobber and the retailer, he will
take you further back and ask you how you hap-
pened to design your package the way you did.
If your idea of merchandising is taking tinted
maps of the United States and sticking them full
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 139
of pins, he will ask you what cooperation you get
from newspapers in the cities where you adver-
tise. If you start telling about your system of
discounts, he will speak darkly of an investiga-
tion to discover whether, as Wilbur Corman
once said, more blondes are left-handed in Kan-
sas than brunettes in Connecticut.
It is the X in advertising, is the word merchan-
dising. It is the fountain of eternal youth, the
pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the hidden
treasure at the bottom of the uncharted lagoon.
It may mean anything — or nothing.
Now, the greatest trouble about this fondness
for the pat phrase is that it indicates a poverty
" Poverty of language," says Adam Sherman
Hill, " is the source of much slang, a favorite
word or phrase — as nice, nasty, beastly, jolly,
bully, ghastly, elegant, exciting, fascinating,
gorgeous, stunning, splendid, awfully, utterly,
vastly, most decidedly, perfectly lovely, per-
fectly maddening, how very interesting! — be-
ing employed for so many purposes as to serve
no one purpose well."
'' The modern use of slang ' is vulgar,' " writes
T. A. Trollope, ^' because it arises from one of
140 Making Advertisements
the most intrinsically vulgar of all the vulgar
tendencies of a vulgar mind, — imitation.
There are slang phrases which, because they viv-
idly or graphically express a conception, or clothe
it with humor, are admirable. But they are ad-
mirable only in the mouths of their inventors.
*' Of course it is an abuse of language to say
that the beauty of a pretty girl strikes you with
awe. But he who first said of some girl that she
was ' awfully ' pretty, was abundantly justified
by the half humorous, half serious consideration
of all the effects such loveliness may produce."
The first man who applied the word mer-
chandising to his work had a vivid picture in
his mind. No doubt he knew that the word, ac-
cording to Webster, means simply to trade, to
buy and sell. And since much advertising had
failed because it had not taken into account the
basic principles of buying and selling, he felt
that if he could add merchandising to advertis-
ing he would get better results. So his use of
the word had a sound principle behind it — the
principle of making advertising pay instead of
throwing a handful of money at a printed page.
Nothing could be sounder than that. But those
who came after him have added a meaning here
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 141
and a meaning there until the poor old word has
no more spark in it than a war quality match.
Some one once compared a page in the Satur-
day Evening Post to a corner lot. They cost
about the same — $6,000. Advertisers some-
times gasp the first time they hear that figure.
But that's not the fault of the Post, Respira-
tion works back to normal when it is pointed out
to the advertiser that he would have to pay
$20,000 to buy enough one-cent stamps to ad-
dress the two million people who get the Post
every week. And certainly it would cost him
another cent to print any message at all. So you
see the $6,000 charged by the Post is a pretty
economical way of saying something to two mil-
lion Americans, even if you want to consider the
rate of this advertising on its most superficial,
and least sensible, basis.
Here, then, is this plot of white paper which
you can rent for one week at the cost of a corner
If you bought the plot of real estate you would
consider very carefully what to put on it. You
would get an architect's plans. You would
think for a long time just where to place your
house and your garage, just how many trees and
142 Making Advertisements
shrubs and hedges and flower beds to plant.
And, if you are like most home-owners, you
would fuss over that place in the evenings and
early mornings and on Sundays for many months
until you made it exactly the way you wanted it.
Your page in the Post is as much of an invest-
ment. It deserves just as thoughtful considera-
tion. There is as much inconsistency in put-
ting twenty-five dollars' worth of art work and
two cents' worth of copy into that space as there
would be in putting a twenty-five dollar shanty
and two cents' worth of grass on your $6,000 lot.
Advertisers have come to realize this and, en-
couraged by the publishers, they are getting ex-
perienced and trained assistance in preparing
what they put into their space.
More than that, they are laying their plans
carefully and far ahead, just as you would lay
your plans before you broke ground for your
house. And the plans which come before the
advertising and go along with it and continue be-
tween insertions and after them — these plans
are built on the principles behind this tired word
So you see it is a mighty valuable word, after
all; or, rather, it stands for a mighty valuable
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 143
idea. The difficulty lies in the use to which it is
put when a few perfectly simple ideas are placed
between limp leather covers, tied with pink rib-
bons and labeled merchandising. If the word
means simply to buy and to sell, as Webster says,
then in the name of all that is rational why make
it mean everything from crystal-gazing to the
third degree? And why call it merchandising,
merely to make an impression, when what is
meant is only advertising based upon carefully
gathered information or giving advice to a sales-
manager who knows more about selling his prod-
uct than any outsider can ever know?
But the advertising man who used to sell neck-
wear on the road objects. He refuses to believe
that any sales-manager knows more than he does.
When he uses the word merchandising he means
conducting a sales investigation and formulat-
ing a sales policy.
A man who is the active head of one of the larg-
est and most successful agencies in New York,
a man whose opinions are respected wherever ad-
vertising is discussed, was talking the other day
*' There is only one kind of investigation worth
a whoop," he said. " That is the investigation
144 Making Advertisements
in which the investigators do not know what they
are investigating! "
And then he explained more fully. He said
that his most successful investigations were con-
ducted in this way:
One of his men goes to the city which is to be
the ^' laboratory." (That's another trick word.)
An empty room in an office building is engaged
and advertisements are inserted in the want-
columns of the local papers, calling for intelli-
gent men with good character-references, ca-
pable of asking the trade of a certain line of busi-
ness a few simple questions.
The applicants find a bare room in which an
energetic young man sits in a hired chair at a
hired table. More hired chairs are ranged be-
By nine-thirty the investigators are assembled,
questioned and twenty successful applicants are
waiting for instructions.
^' Now, men," says the agency's representative,
" we want you to call on the haberdashers of this
city. Here is a list of them by routes. We want
you to have a conversation with each one of the
merchants on your lists — a conversation about
collars. Base your conversations on this list of
The data hound is not peculiar to the advertising
business alone. The ancient Greeks spoke of the man
who couldn't see the forest because of the trees.
But in the advertising business there are many
young men — it is a business itself not yet old.
These young men do not wish, of course, to accept
even the obvious — unchallenged.
And so with the aid of co-tangent and slide rule, a
great mass of data is compiled to the confusion of the
new advertiser and the amusement of the old.
For, after all, the elements of advertising success are
very simple and very hard.
Make worthy goods, put your name on them and
tell many people about them continually for many
years. For, after all, "psychology" means human
nature, "potentiality" means human wants, and
"cumulative effect " means repetition.
Advertisinz space in the Butterick pub/icatims
is for sale by accredited advertisinz agencies,
Butterick — Publisher
Two dollars the year, each
One of the most valuable phases of the Butterick advertising is that it has
lampooned the foibles of the business. Advertising is just old enough to
have its wiseacres.
146 Making Advertisements
questions, but don't read off the questions or let
the merchants get the idea that they are being
cross-examined. Just have a natural, friendly
talk about collars, but cover the ground outlined
by those questions."
The investigators read over the material which
he hands them. He assigns the routes.
'' Now is there anything you would like to ask
about? " he inquires.
" In these questions four brands of collars are
mentioned," says the brightest of the applicants.
^' Which one do you represent? "
" I'll tell you that when you tell me the an-
swers to those questions," is the smiling reply.
The agency does everything possible to avoid
the dangers of most investigations. If an inves-
tigator knows what brand he is investigating, too
often he will frame his questions in a way that
will force the answer he seeks, just as a magician
forces a card upon a person in the audience.
Or, since most merchants are either only too
eager to agree or too set upon disagreeing, he
will get a too favorable report or one that is too
unfavorable, depending upon the humor of the
dealer and the impression he has been able to
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 147
To take an instance of the yes-yes type of
dealer, the investigator drops in early in the
morning. The store is practically empty. A
clerk is wrapping up a suit of underwear for the
only customer. The boss is looking out over the
partition at the back of the show-window, whis-
tling. The investigator noticed that as he studied
" Morning, Mr. Robinson," he begins. " Nice
display of F & X Collars you've got there.''
'' Yep. Sell a lot of those collars."
" Good collars, aren't they? "
''My trade thinks so. Representing them? "
" In a way, yes. Not out for orders, though.
Just want to ask you a few questions."
" Fire away."
" The folks who make those collars want to
advertise them more."
" Good idea," agreed Mr. Robinson. " Ought
to be pushed harder. Mighty good collar."
"What would you think of national adver-
tising in the big magazines?"
"Say, that'd be immense! Those people
never did half enough advertising in a big way.
Mighty good collar they've got there."
" And don't you think the magazine advertis-
148 Making Advertisements
ing ought to be supported by some local adver-
tising right here in your local newspaper? "
" Say! Now you're talking! Nothing would
do me as much good as that."
'' Well, they're all good."
'' But don't you think morning papers would
be better on a man's proposition like this? "
" Certainly would. That would help me a
lot. Mighty good collar they've got there."
" And how about some hangers for your
"Something catchy? Why, I'd like nothing
better — and window cards, too, if they were the
right kind. But those people always do things
" You wouldn't advise them to send you a lot
of sales letters and folders, though, would
" I should say not! "
" Too busy to read them, aren't you? "
" Why, I don't get a minute to glance at any-
thing like that."
The investigator remembers, for an instant,
the picture of Mr. Robinson enjoying his leisure
as he whistled at the show-window, but he also
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 149
remembers the long list of names of other mer-
chants on his route.
''Well, thanks, Mr. Robinson. Fm much
obliged for all the time you've given me. I
know the F & X people v^ill be delighted to get
" Alw^ays glad to see an F & X man any time.
That's a mighty good collar they've got there."
The net of that interview^ w^ill cause the F & X
sales manager to rub his hands w^ith delight,
whereas all that it really proved was that a man
who knew how to ask leading questions had had
a talk with a dealer who was willing to be
But in the next block the investigator encoun-
ters the other type. He is encouraged by the dis-
play case of F & X Collars, but his cheery greet-
ing to Mr. Sanderson does not get a very hearty
" Fine lot of our collars you are showing there,
Mr. Sanderson," he begins.
'^ Just a minute," answers that merchant. Al-
though there is no one else in the store he crosses
to the opposite counter and starts examining his
line of underwear and pajamas. The investiga-
150 Making Advertisements
" Got some good news for you, Mr. Sander-
son, about F & X Collars," he persists.
*' Yeh? " This from below the counter level
where a search for more boxes of pajamas is in
^' Going into a real advertising campaign, they
" Heard that before."
" H-m-m. Before, you say? "
" Sure. Almost every year those rumors of a
real campaign get started."
" But this is no rumor."
" That's what they all say."
" Going to begin in a big way."
*' Lots of 'em begin big."
*^ In a big way in the big magazines."
"Whatgood'll that do me?"
" Why, think of the subscribers to those maga-
zines who live right here in your town! Look
at this list."
Mr. Sanderson glances at the elaborate port-
folio in which the covers of the magazines are
" I never read any of those magazines."
" But your fellow-townsmen do."
" Nope. Ain't a magazine town."
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 151
" Well, what would you think of newspaper
" None of the papers here are any good."
^^ But they're read, aren't they? "
^^ Not the ads."
" How do you know? "
" Oh, well, I know."
" And the newspaper advertising will be
backed up by a fine lot of dealer-helps."
" There'll be window-cards, hangers, leaflets
to wrap up with your pack — "
" Say! What do these F & X people think I
am? Think I'm working in their shipping de-
^^ Certainly not. But you will make use of
good dealer-helps, won't you? "
" Sure! I sell all that stuff for old paper! "
Mr. Sanderson's face, for the first time, breaks
into a smile. The investigator pauses.
'' Say, you tell those people of yours," Mr.
Sanderson goes on, " to put some of their bright
ideas into their styles. They haven't had a new
idea since they invented button-holes. Now,
And when the F & X sales-manager got his
152 Making Advertisements
report on that interview he sent a tart memoran-
dum to the designing department. But did the
interview prove anything? Only that an ill-in-
formed investigator had had a talk with a mer-
chant who never felt well early in the morning.
Then aren't there any instances in which in-
vestigations can be valuable? To be sure there
A certain manufacturer knew that his com-
pany was very unpopular with the trade. His
salesmen told him so, but their report failed to
agree on the causes. A member of the trade-aid
department of a certain advertising medium
called on the merchants of his city independ-
ently. He got their confidence. He was not
in the employ of the manufacturer and the deal-
ers knew it. They talked more frankly to him
than they ever had been willing to talk to the
manufacturer's own men. He pinned them
down to specific complaints. His subsequent
recommendations led to some changes in the
local branch office force and to a radical change
of policy tending toward more generous han-
dling of returned old merchandise. Today the
trade's attitude is wholly changed. That manu-
facturer's goods are sold willingly.
The Great Mystery — Merchandising 153
Another manufacturer felt, quite rightly, that
his own sales organization knew the trade's
opinions very well indeed. A careful system of
reports was very conscientiously kept by sales-
men and " missionaries" and tabulated regularly.
But this manufacturer wanted to know more
about the consumer's idea of his product. He
wanted to know why people bought his product
and the products of his competitors.
So his agency's investigators collected the
opinions of a thousand consumers. They struck
up conversations in barber-shops, in smoking
compartments, on street cars. They tabulated
their results and then went after a second thou-
sand. It was surprising to see how closely the
results of the second thousand men coincided
with the first thousand. And when you get into
numbers as great as thousands, the law of aver-
ages begins to take pretty good care of the yes-
yes boys and the human crabs.
When a sales organization is weak, there is no
doubt that an advertising man who has dealt
with many strong sales organizations can offer
useful ideas. But his most useful idea would be
to help strengthen the sales organization.
The point is that in its eagerness to create a
154 Making Advertisements
selling point for itself or to minimize a weak-
ness in actual advertising ideas of copy and pres-
entation, an agency is often apt to leap lightly
over the function for which it primarily exists
and land on ground rightfully belonging to the
marketing heads of the manufacturer's business.
Somewhere in the business itself is an idea so
simple and tangible that the public will respond
to it. The advertising man's job is to find that
idea and then to use all the skill and technique
and ability at his command to translate that idea
into terms which the public will understand and
like and want. He will be reasonably busy if he
does just that.
LIFTING DEAD WEIGHT
LIFTING DEAD WEIGHT
In a certain intensive advertising campaign it
was decided to use every newspaper in a certain
state. That meant about two hundred dailies
and five hundred weeklies, taking in most of the
foreign language papers, including the Scandi-
It was a campaign of propaganda — one of
the first instances of selling, on a broad scale, an
idea rather than a manufactured product. There
were to be three full pages and three half pages
in the dailies and two pages in the weeklies, all
appearing within a period of eight days.
For many reasons the decision to run this cam-
paign was delayed until the last moment. The
agency executive entrusted with its preparation
faced the sobering thought, therefore, that he
must complete the copy, art work, type-setting,
electrotyping and shipping of this entire cam-
paign within eight or ten days from the time that
he was told to go ahead.
It happened that although no finished copy
158 Making Advertisements
had been written, the subject was engaging the
public's discussion at that time and the agency
man had been saturating himself with the argu-
ments on both sides of the question for many
months. So it wasn't a matter of digging for
copy ideas; rather was it a matter of finding out
what to throw away.
So within a day or two the copy had been
written for ten or twelve possible advertisements
and the ideas of the illustrations and layout were
originated at the same time. Out of the lot,
eight pieces were selected and then the telephone
wires began to buzz, summoning the artists whose
work was wanted.
It was decided not to use the work of any one
artist, but rather to pick the man or woman whose
technique was most appropriate to each subject.
And it was also decided to use real artists —
every one a high-priced star.
Some of them had never worked '' commer-
cially " before, and they approached the agency
with that odd mixture of diffidence and eager-
ness with a thin veneer of haughtiness which
artists have adopted in self-defense in the past
few years when they have been the class of work-
men upon whose services every propagandist has
Lifting Dead Weight 159
cheerfully called without a thought of payment.
The engraver or printer or lithographer repro-
ducing the work of the artist has sold his mer-
chandise like any maker of shoes or underwear.
But the people creating what he reproduced,
dealing in those imponderables called ideas and
technique, have been expected to labor for love.
And labor they have — with as much love as
they could muster.
But when the artists in this instance were told
that this campaign was on a business basis, and
when it developed that all of them were thor-
oughly in sympathy with the ideas to be adver-
tised, the haughtiness and diffidence died away
and only eagerness was left. Everything was
serene until the agency man asked :
" And now how are you fixed for time? "
^' Pretty well," replied one whose answer was
typical, " I'm illustrating two stories for one
magazine and I'm making a cover for another,
but I should think that in about four weeks — "
'' In four weeks," the agency man broke in,
'^ this campaign will be over."
There was a moment of amazement. The ar-
tist cleared his throat, accepted a cigarette and
asked in a puzzled way:
i6o Making Advertisements
" Just when did you want my drawing, then? "
" Next Friday/'
" And this is Tuesday? Whew! "
"Whew is right!''
But in the end all of them readjusted their
schedules in some way, like the good souls that
they are, and by the next Friday the whole col-
lection was in.
Meanwhile the copy had been approved with
its rough layouts.
From that point there were three ways to pro-
ceed. A separate piece of typewritten copy
could have been sent to each newspaper with
marginal notations specifying sizes and kinds of
type to be used in setting, the notations corre-
sponding to others marked upon an accompany-
ing layout. With these instructions would have
to be sent an electrotype of the illustration.
This method was rejected for three reasons:
Many of the papers had no equipment to set so
much type. Even if they had, they probably
wouldn't have the right kind of type and the set-
ting would be awkward, slip-shod and ineffec-
tive, and — finally — it would have been neces-
sary to see proofs for correction and there was
no time for this. So, as in the case of the man
Lifting Dead Weight i6i
who told the girl that there were eight reasons
why he could not marry her and the first one was
his wife, one reason was enough.
A second way would have been to have each
advertisement set by a metropolitan daily and
then to have matrices made by this paper in suf-
ficient quantity to supply all the rest. But there
is only one New York paper with a composing
room which sets type with enough care and skill
to satisfy an exacting advertiser. And to put the
whole mechanical burden upon that one paper
would have been unfair. And besides, even that
paper's composing room does not quite measure
up to the standards of the best job printers who
have specialized in advertising composition.
There was one more reason for rejecting this
second way. Some of the illustrations contained
delicate lines which would be blurred by some of
the papers if they printed from plates cast from
So although the third way involved a great
deal more expense, it was chosen. Three job
printers devoting all the time of their establish-
ments to advertising composition were picked.
Each one received copy and layouts for three or
1 62 Making Advertisements
Meanwhile the artists' original drawings had
been sent to the engravers — those containing
only pen and ink work to one firm making good
zinc line cuts and those in which charcoal or
'' wash " were used to another house where spe-
cially careful halftones could be expected.
Because the layouts were made accurately it
was possible for the compositors to set their type
without waiting for the engravers' plates of the
illustrations. Space for the picture was left in
each advertisement and as soon as the plates ar-
rived from the engravers they were dropped into
These days very few intelligent advertisers
need to be sold on the idea of hand-composition
by an outside job printer. But occasionally one
encounters a man who demurs at paying the
price of having his advertisements properly set.
Such men as Will Bradley, Benjamin Sher-
bow, Everett R. Currier and one or two other
specialists in typography have done an incalcu-
lable service to advertising in educating advertis-
ers to want and expect and be willing to pay for
type-setting that is pleasing to look at and easy
to read. They have been the landscape archi-
tects of the printed advertising page. Fortu-
Lifting Dead Weight 163
nately their example has been an inspiration to
many other men who have the sense and taste to
give typography the serious, conscientious at-
tention that it deserves. And, unfortunately,
their example has also attracted a lesser group
of those who in another profession would be
called quacks. Apparently it seems very easy
to sit in a large airy office and charge fees for
doing nothing but arranging type without even
touching it. But the results of the work of the
real ones are the surest indication of the tremen-
dous amount of technical training and natural
taste that this new and undercrowded profes-
sion requires. Typography is especially com-
mended to the attention of the man with an am-
bition to enter the advertising business by a door
that still stands wide open.
The most successful typographers have small
patience with beauty for beauty's own sake. A
long paragraph entirely set in capital letters and
properly placed upon a page with wide margins
of white space may be a delight to the eye, but
it is infernally hard to read. And since the first
requirement of an advertisement is to get itself
read, an advertisement which is simply a beauti-
ful design is not a good advertisement.
164 Making Advertisements
Typography's big service to advertising is in
making advertisements easy to read — by the
choice of type, by proper spacing between words
and lines, and by using the right size of type for
the eye to follow with comfort and pleasure
along a line of any given length.
In the offices of most newspapers and many
magazines there simply isn't time to fuss over
the little things that make such a big difference
in the appearance of advertisements. A great
deal of setting must be done by machine and,
marvelous as they are, the machines lack the
niceties and finish of hand work. Also, most
publishers' composing rooms are woefully lack-
ing in the few, simple, modern type faces which
the discerning advertiser has learned to prefer.
Any number of fancy and unreadable faces are
usually available, faces that seem to have been
designed by the same mid-Victorian who
thought of colored squares of glass for the
window on the stair-landing in houses with cu-
polas and tin bath tubs. These scroll-saw types
are often produced when an interest in typog-
raphy is evidenced; usually produced with an
air of '*Now I'll give you something nifty."
And that's what they are.
Lifting Dead Weight 165
Meanwhile, that idea-campaign has been left
suspended in mid-air. It had just been sent in
sections to three printing offices to be put into
When the first proofs were received they were
corrected and sent back for revision without be-
ing shown to the advertiser. Corrections of this
sort are unavoidable even when the most care-
ful layout has been made. Copy takes on a new
look when it gets into type. The sense is often
broken badly by the end of a line. A short line
at the end of a paragraph sometimes calls undue
attention to itself. A new and better headline
often suggests itself when the old one stares out
at you from a printer's proof. It is frequently
apparent that a few minor changes in spacing
will vastly improve the appearance of the ad-
vertisement. Mechanical changes like these
are best made before the proof is shown to the
advertiser so that it will not be necessary to lay
the proof before him with an outburst of apolo-
With the revisions made the proofs were sub-
mitted. Because this advertiser was a good ad-
vertiser he looked them over very carefully,
offering no snap judgments and evidently reject-
i66 Making Advertisements
ing a number of miscellaneous suggestions as
they popped into his head. Finally he asked
why certain things had been done this way or
that way. In the end his criticisms were nar-
rowed down to a very few constructive changes
— changes which obviously strengthened and
clarified the advertisements.
Later the same day revised proofs were shown
to him. This time there were practically no
" All right," he said at the end of this meet-
ing, ^' go ahead and shoot! "
This was late in the afternoon. Ten or twelve
men were waiting for that word in each of the
three printing offices. Thirty-five more were
waiting for it at the electrotyping plant.
The agency man went from one printing
office to another in a taxi, personally seeing a
finally revised proof of each advertisement and
giving it his O. K. As fast as an advertisement
was approved the form containing it was locked
up and carried, in the printer's truck, to the elec-
And then in a few hours, through the magic
of hot copper and lead and felt, the metal of that
campaign was moulded. The link was cast be-
Lifting Dead Weight 167
tween one man's pencil and the presses of hun-
dreds of newspapers with their millions of
Wagons and trucks began arriving at the
agency man's office — each loaded with its slabs
of copper or lead. Messengers staggered back
and forth from truck to shipping room, where
hammers were pounding as electrotypes and
stereotypes were nailed into their wooden boxes.
Clerks went from table to table, issuing labels
for the packages and boxes and checking off the
shipments on their lists of newspapers.
Other clerks filled out their order blanks,
giving the publishers instructions about the dates
of insertion and telling which piece of copy was
to run on each day.
That shipping room could have become bed-
lam Itself without the slightest effort. It was
noisy enough of necessity, but because plans had
been laid in advance, because every step had been
anticipated, a system was working perfectly
under the apparent confusion. If there was
noise it was because metal refuses to move itself
from place to place without noise.
But by the next evening the weight of that
campaign's metal was evenly distributed over
i68 Making Advertisements
the press-rooms of hundreds of newspapers.
And the agency man was as much relieved as if
he had actually freed his shoulders from those
tons of copper and lead.
Compared to most campaigns, this one was
handled very quickly. And yet it passed
through all the mechanical stages of a campaign
prepared at a more normal and leisurely pace.
Its passage was simply compressed into a shorter
But occasionally even greater speed is re-
quired. A certain series of advertisements was
once decided upon late in the afternoon of a
November day. On the following morning the
first piece of copy appeared in a dozen cities in-
cluding San Francisco and Seattle.
Everything was sent by telegraph. A long
telegram was drafted starting with insertion or-
ders. Then came type specifications, including
borders, margins, type sizes, spacing and even
the location of a box of italics. The text itself
was preceded and followed by the word
The astonishing part of it was that a week
later, when all the checking copies of the papers
were assembled in New York, the variations
Lifting Dead Weight 169
among them were so slight as to be negligible.
They were scarcely greater than they would
have been if each of the papers had been given
plenty of time to set and submit proofs. News-
paper composition may not be as exact as it
should be, but there are times when speed is the
first requirement and at those times the newspa-
per's composing room comes up to scratch like a
An experience with a campaign of large me-
tallic bulk is very wholesome for any one en-
gaged in the practice of advertising. It instills
a new and enhanced respect for the dead weight
of sheer metal underlying the business. A man
who has passed through it can never correct a
proof so thoughtlessly as he did before; he re-
members that if he tells the printer to take a
word out of the middle of a paragraph, he may
be necessitating the resetting of everything in
that paragraph from that word down to the end.
Of course if a change should be made, it must be
made even if it means resetting the whole adver-
tisement. But printers are paid by the hour
and they are trained to be very philosophical
about what they do with their time. If a change
is marked, it will be made.
lyo Making Advertisements
Many an advertiser has been astonished to get
a bill for three or four hours of composition for
revision when he distinctly remembers having
changed only two or three words. He forgets
that the new words were not the same length as
the old ones. And, as has been said, type is not
made of rubber and if a word is too long to go
into a given space, it can't be squeezed in.
The night city editor in a New York news-
paper office once handed to a new copy reader
a proof of a column-long speech.
" Cut this to three sticks," he said. That
meant three-eighths of a column. And it was
within ten minutes of edition time.
The copy reader went through that speech as
if he were editing type-written copy. If he saw
a sentence that could be spared from the middle
of a paragraph, he marked it out. That proof
looked like a letter that had passed the censor
with heavy casualties. The night city editor
looked over his shoulder.
" That's type, man," he exclaimed, " You
aren't editing a manuscript!" And then he
took a clean proof and cut it down by marking
out whole paragraphs or the last few lines of
paragraphs. In the press-room a compositor
Lifting Dead Weight 171
made his indicated changes swiftly and surely —
merely by lifting out whole paragraphs of type
or the lines at the ends of paragraphs. To make
the changes marked by the new copy reader
would have meant entirely resetting.
The advertiser who wants to change a type
proof for good reason is certainly entitled to
have it reset as often as he likes. But if he
doesn't want to throw his money away and waste
the productivity of a printing office, he will
make no changes on whim and he will remember
that the flirt of his pencil may mean hours of
lifting and carrying and re-arranging of pieces
of metal by somebody — and somebody who is
uncommonly well paid for the efifort these days.
The importance of one of these pieces of
metal — a very small one — was admirably illus-
trated recently in the publication of a certain
The pages containing his price list had been
checked and re-checked with special care by
himself, by his advertising manager and by his
agency's representative. And yet when the first
copies of his catalogue were delivered to him he
saw at a glance that a leading article was listed
at $1.00 instead of $1.50.
172 Making Advertisements
His voice fairly crackled as he phoned his
agency about the mistake. His agency's execu-
tive reached for the final proofs. There it was
in the proofs — correct at $1.50. And there it
was in the finished catalogue — incorrect at
The presses were running, the printer re-
ported, duplicating that mistake as fast as ink
could touch paper.
''Stop 'em!" yelled the agency man. And
after the mistake was corrected and the world
was being told that it would have to pay $1.50,
an inquiry was started.
It was a mystery for several days. Every copy
of the final proof was right and yet the very
first finished catalogue was wrong. The printer
was known to be reliable. When he said
that he didn't see how it could have happened,
his word was enough.
Finally, he called up the agency one day with
the solution. A little red-headed devil had con-
fessed — devil being used in its professional and
not personal sense. Trundling one of the forms
from composing-room to press-room, this young-
ster had bumped into a door-jamb. The form
slid to the floor. A little of the type fell out.
Lifting Dead Weight I73
Just then the whistle blew for lunch. The kid
was afraid of losing his job and prevailed upon a
good-natured compositor to replace the missing
type. All of it couldn't be found on the floor,
so from a set of final proofs the missing lines
were taken, correctly as they thought. They did
a good job of it, in everything but that one wrong
The agency man trusted the printer and be-
lieved this explanation. It could have hap-
pened — just barely. But he couldn't ask his
customer to take his word for another man's
word about an incident like that. So all the ad-
vertiser ever knew was that he finally received
correct copies of his catalogue to the full num-
ber of his order.
That was all that interested him. The agency
is the connecting link between its advertisers and
an army of mechanical workers and many tons
of metal. When an advertiser sees an advertise-
ment produced by his agency, he considers it as
the product of the agency.
And this is as it should be. He doesn't care
how many processes are involved any more than
he cares how many sources his lawyer consults
in the preparation of a brief. It is like holding
174 Making Advertisements
an architect responsible for building your house.
His troubles with plumbers and plasterers and
carpenters and painters do not interest you.
You want results.
An advertiser is not interested in the meander-
ing habits of printers' delivery boys. He does
not respond to the details of how a negative was
spoiled by an engraver. He cares very little that
a form arrived at the electrotyper's just too late
to go into the ten o'clock bath. The fact that a
composing room has none of his favorite type
makes no difference to him whatever. He hears
too many alibis in his own business to hear those
of the mechanical side of advertising.
He deals with his agency and his agency acts
for him in carrying the dead weight of sheer
THE RIGHT WORD IN THE
THE RIGHT WORD IN THE RIGHT
A WRITER of fiction may work all of his days,
if he likes, to develop a style of his own. But a
writer of advertising must work all of his days,
and most of his nights, to develop a different
style for each customer.
It is perfectly simple when you stop to think
of it. An advertisement should look and sound
like the firm which signs it; not like the man who
writes it. It should catch the spirit of the ad-
vertiser's personality and should reflect that per-
sonality in words that create a proper picture.
It should create this picture so simply that many
will grasp it, some will talk about it, and a few
will act upon it.
An exclusive jeweler may say: ^'Your inspec-
tion is invited."
A garage-keeper may say: " Come in and look
The words used in the jeweler's invitation
help to create a picture of dignity, taste and lux-
178 Making Advertisements
ury, with a little aloofness as befits an establish-
ment where everybody isn't welcome. The
words used in the garage-man's invitation give
you a picture of a man in jumpers wiping his
hands on a piece of waste. Try interchanging
the two invitations and see how inappropriate
Johnson says of Gray's Elegy: ''It abounds
with images which find a mirror in every mind,
and with sentiments to which every heart re-
turns an echo."
If an advertisement can even remotely ap-
proach that result by its choice of words, the
argument will have a much easier time of it.
For the words, with the help of the illustration
and the typography, set the stage.
Every one who sells anything knows how im-
portant it is to get a prospect into the right frame
of mind. Many successful salesmen diagnose
moods at a glance. If a man is obviously ner-
vous, hurried or ill-natured, they get away from
him without even starting their argument. If
he is genial, happy about something, at peace
with the world — that is the time he will buy
So it is apparent that an advertisement, which
989 Neat of
GIFTS for men — gifts
that surpass in
acceptability the conven-
tional box of cigars and
the unconventional neck-
ties are always to be had
at reasonable prices at
"The Gift Shop of Fifth Ave."
314 Fifth Av.,near32d St.
Sheffield dinner coffee set.
$20.00 to $75.00
THE stately charm of
good Sheffield is com-
pelling when the Sheffield
is new — but absolutely
irresistible when you've
owned it and used it —
and lived with it. For
Christmas Gifts it is hard
to imagine anything finer.
*'The Gift Shop nfSthAve."
724^Buddha BooJcMdst Pair $3,50
MEASURED by time,
Ovington's is 70
years old. Measured by
its wares, Ovington's is
the newest shop on Fifth
Avenue. Measured by its
charm, it is the most
fashionable shop — and
measured by its prices,
Ovington's is the most
"The Gift Shop of Fifth Avenue"
314 Fifth Av.. near 32d St.
Good taste can often he expressed in small space without loss of strength.
These newspaper advertisements by T. L. L. Ryan have attracted a great
deal of attention by selling something and saying something at once.
i8o Making Advertisements
has no way of readjusting itself to a prospect's
mood, must also seek to shape its approach in the
way that will be most likely inviting to the man
whom it addresses.
Therefore, besides reflecting the house which
signs it, an advertisement must reflect the per-
sonality of the person whom it is designed to
'' Price Concessions on Dining Suites " might
be the caption on a furniture store's advertise-
ment appealing to people of more-than-average
means. But " Dining-Room Furniture Cut in
Two!" would be more likely to interest pur-
chasers of lower grade merchandise. The
problem becomes complex as soon as a house of
established dignity and standing decides to
widen its market beyond the limits of its limou-
sine trade. It must decide how it can maintain
its prestige and still be interesting to a less lofty
circle. It cannot be merely snobbish, for many
people are sensitive about trading where they
fear that they may be snubbed. It must be gen-
uine, inviting and yet aristocratic — all at once.
On one of its calendars the telephone company
urges its customers to be considerate, add-
ing: ^' You are judged by what you say and how
OMNIA OMNIBUS UBIQ^UE
8T SPECIAL APPOINTMENT
TO THEIB MAJESTIC^
THE KISG AND QVtKN
or TUE BELGIANS
BV SPECIAL APrOINTMEMT
y|\ TO H U. TUE UUEEN Or NOHWaT
^[YaRRODS trade-mark signify-
'l^ ing everything for everybody
^^^ everywhere. Literal as well as
Store covers half as much again
Paul's, embraces two hundred
shops, employs six thousand people,
sells everything from candies to castles,
trades with every quarter of the globe
— a granary, a vineyard, a bank, a de-
positary, a library, an atelier of fash-
ions, a saturnalia ot jewels, a caravan of
silks, a crystal palace of glass and por-
celains, a tea shop, a tobacco planta-
tion, a booking office for theatres and
tours, a bureau of currency exchange,
a world's fair for the world that fares
here, and the greatest rendezvous for
Americans stopping and shopping in
WOODMAN BURBIDGE Managing Director
When the head of this English house visited America this year, he had
the good sense to choose an American, Frank Irving Fletcher, to write his
The Right Word in the Right Place i8i
you say it." When you realize that for every
one who knows the members of a firm person-
ally, thousands of people form opinions of it
from its advertising, you see how important be-
comes the question of " how you say it."
You can make out lists of words — like charm,
distinction, breeding, dominate, exquisite, dec-
orative, culture, replica — which carry an im-
pression of high prices. You can make out an-
other list of words — like luck, tinker, sport,
jump, slip, twist, bounce, which slap you on the
Then you can go further and find words for
*^ smack-your-lips " copy — like crisp, luscious,
creamy, delicious, toasted, golden, piping-hot,
appetizing, flavory, rich, spicy, plump, tender,
savory, aroma, piquante, tempting, juicy.
The danger in all this is that a writer of copy
falls into the habit of using just about the same
words, or the same sort of words, in every piece
of advertising that he prepares for an advertiser.
In a certain advertising agency recently a list
of words was made up and sent to every man
writing copy for a Fifth Avenue shop. They
were told that those words must not appear in
that advertiser's copy until further notice. The
i82 Making Advertisements
reason was that a distinct style of copy had
been struck by the man who originated the copy
and those who came after him thought the best
thing they could do was to strike the same note
over and over again.
But you can't make a melody out of one note.
And in this advertiser's copy a few words like
distinction, charm and decorative were sadly in
need of a rest. When this rest had been ob-
tained for a while through conscious avoidance,
a few of them were allowed to creep back. But
meanwhile the advertiser's vocabulary had been
All of this discussion of suiting the word,
particularly the adjective, to the copy ought to
be unnecessary. But unfortunately it isn't. If
you take the trouble to look you will find the
same nouns and adjectives used in pieces of ad-
vertising copy as different as steam shovels and
steamed puddings, brass polishes and brass beds,
shoes for men and shoes for motor cars, brake
linings and skirt linings.
It's not necessary to strain for an eflPect in
order to employ words that are appropriate.
Too often all of one man's, and even all of one
agency's, copy sounds alike only because it is
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When this advertisement occupied a page in the Saturday Evening Post,
the hand appeared in red. With the headline it told the story at a glance.
Calkins l^ Holden have a way oj doing that.
184 Making Advertisements
based upon no more intimate knowledge of
products than can be obtained from a study of
scrap-books containing past performances.
Take these three headlines:
^' Every Bump a Collision! "
*^ Here's some horse-sense for pipe-smokers."
" The prettiest, the daintiest, the flimsiest.''
The first one is for a shock-absorber. The
second is for a pipe-tobacco. And the third is
for a laundry soap. Every noun in all three is
appropriate to its product. The first two are as
essentially masculine as the third is feminine.
Each one is in character not only with the prod-
uct but with the person who is addressed.
The man who wrote the first of the three went
even further. He employed what the old high-
brows used to call onomatopoeia and what the
newer philologists call echoism — ''the forma-
tion of words by imitation of natural sounds."
Words like hiss, hush, click, jingle, clink, drip
— yes, and bump — are valuable advertising
words because they say something and create a
mental picture at the same time.
The encyclopedia will tell you that " at one
time there was an exaggerated tendency to find
in echoism a principal source in the origin and
The Right Word in the Right Place 185
growth of language, ridiculed as the ' bow-wow '
theory of language." The job of the advertis-
ing writer would be infinitely easier if the bow-
wow method had been followed by those who
were in charge of manufacturing our language.
Their copy could be entirely composed of words
looking and sounding like the ideas behind
them. Then a colorless word like machine
would not stand ready to mean anything from a
hydraulic press to a typewriter. Then an ad-
jective like charming could not be applied to a
gown, a hotel and a dessert. It would have
made advertising much more effective.
It is both difficult and dangerous, at best, to
attempt to point out definite ways of achieving
results in writing advertising copy. Just when
a rule gets itself comfortably established in the
minds of most advertising men, along comes a
bright young copy man in a Western agency who
proves that the other way works just as well.
Precedents are acrobats. And in a business
where the old masters are still able to play a
very creditable game of golf it is natural that
most men have worked out their own rules and
are a little apt to sniff at the ideas of others.
A salesman for a course in business training
1 86 Making Advertisements
goes so far as to say that the only way he can sell
an advertising man is with this solicitation:
'^ Now, I want you to promise me that you
won't read the volumes about advertising.
Frankly, I'm sure that you wouldn't agree with
them. You are working out principles every
day — just as vital, just as comprehensive, just
as valuable as any of those described by the au-
thors of those volumes. But the rest of the
course will interest you, for there is much that
you will want to study about the fundamentals
of cost finding, plant management, accounting,
corporation finance, investments, shipping, cred-
its, office organization, real estate, economics,
banking and other subjects with which you
aren't so familiar."
And then he picks up the advertising volumes,
walks to an open window and says: " Suppose
we throw these books away now. You could
write better ones yourself."
But though concrete recommendations may be
questioned on most phases of advertising writ-
ing, in the choice of words there are a few prin-
ciples which perhaps may be set down with
First it is well to choose words that live today
The Right Word in the Right Place 187
in our national speech. Words which appear
only in books do not lend themselves to copy.
They are too selfish. They advertise themselves
instead of the product.
Certainly it is preferable to choose v^ords
which convey an idea without calling attention
to themselves. Occasionally advertising copy
gets very pompous — usually without more rea-
son than to tickle the vanity of the advertiser.
" There's the idea," one manufacturer used to
say, after he had explained a selling point to his
agency's representative, " Now you put in the
verbiage." And he could never be persuaded
that a piece of copy was good copy unless it con-
tained several words which he couldn't under-
Another advertiser once asked one of his buy-
ers to pass upon a piece of copy. The buyer
checked up all the prices and, in addition, ven-
tured to suggest a way in which he thought the
phrasing could be improved.
"Never you mind about that!" shouted the
head of the firm. " I pay that writer $10,000
a year and I guess he knows grammar! "
Frequently the writer of advertising encoun-
ters the business man who likes to declaim copy.
1 88 Making Advertisements
He will hold an advertisement at arm's length
and recite it with the same resounding emphasis,
and very likely the same gestures, that he em-
ployed when he won the oratorical contest at
high school. The temptation to give him ade-
quate material is very great. But it should be
shunned if the advertising, and not the adver-
tiser, is expected to perform.
Second, a wise course is to choose the word
which most clearly and swiftly conveys its mean-
ing. This is not always the short word. Take
a word like constitute; it is really shorter than
'' Go to make up." Innumerable is shorter than
'^ too many to be counted." And yet the longer
word carries its meaning to the eye more swiftly
than several short words with the same meaning.
Adam Sherman Hill gave both of these ex-
amples in '' The Foundations of Rhetoric "
which every writer of advertising could read or
re-read, preferably both, with great profit.
The advantages of short words and long words
are clearly described. '^ In a single instance,"
he says, '^ the gain in time and space is not large;
but in a chapter or a volume, the saving of one
syllable out of every twenty or every hundred
syllables is a great economy."
The Right Word in the Right Place 189
Certainly no principle could be more appli-
cable to advertising. And again:
'^ Another way in which short words save a
reader's time is by diminishing the amount of
effort needed to get at their meaning. They are,
as a rule, more readily understood than longer
words; for they are the familiar names of fa-
miliar things or of familiar ideas and feelings.
They belong less to literary language than to
If there was ever a form of writing which
ought to belong .to living speech, it is advertis-
ing. For no form of writing was ever intended
more directly to influence methods of living.
Third, all good short words do not come from
the Anglo-Saxon. From Latin origin, Hill
tells us, come such useful monosyllables as add,
fact and mob. From the French come cab,
cash, corps, pork, quart and zeal. Duel is from
the Italian, cask and cork come from the
Spanish, gulp and yacht from the Dutch, shawl
from the Persian, and shrub and tea are from the
Arabic and the Chinese. When the choice lies
between an Anglo-Saxon word and one from,
say, the Icelandic, no doubt the Anglo-Saxon
will tell its story more quickly,, but the writer
190 Making Advertisements
who too rigidly confines himself to Anglo-Saxon
words is like a golfer who uses his irons from the
tee. The rest of his shots have got to cover a
lot of distance.
Fourth, the temptation to decorate copy with
fine writing should be throttled. Many begin-
ners in copy-writing are unable to resist the urge
to write to please themselves. The sentences
swerve them off the highways of their argument
and lead them into delightful lanes of self-in-
dulgence. They forget that they are selling mer-
chandise and revel in the joys of stringing
words together like colored beads.
One such writer was especially persistent in
writing to please himself. It took months to
discourage him, to make him see that his copy
should sell something instead of preening itself.
Two or three years after he began, his chief
asked him one day whether he realized how
much his writing had improved.
" Sure/' he answered, " but it isn't half as
much fun for me."
A generation ago the rhetoricians quarreled
with the newspapers for using " long words in
order to give an air of magnificence to the petty
or the mean." Recently this tendency is con-
Behold — the "Sign of the Urgent C7"— a signal specially
created by the Order of Orlando for use in the great member*
ship drive now in progress.
It means "U Join Us" — an invitation to the wandering smoker
to join the Order of Orlando— to enter the mystic Arena of Aroma
and to leam the secret of a good cigar.
heed this sage counsel, Friend — and waste no time. Go now,
and C7nite with C/nited, the stores where Orlando presides. Let
Orlando teach you a dew degree of cigar satisfactioa
9?fe Sign of a Good Cigar
Thousands of men are en-
rolled in the Order every day
—men who have seen the wis-
dom of smoking Orlando — the
cigar that combines quality
with economy. There's a c/iar-
acfer about this rich, mild cigar
that makes friends the minute
you've experienced Its sooth-
ing charm. Everything about
Orlando is just what you've
always hoped to find in a cigar—
and most always hoped in vain.
U— join the Order today, Friend,
and Jeam what thousands of
men have learned already I
IiivbcibI«size.2(or27« Box of 2S. U2S-S0, l&SO
Orlando comes in ten sizes— 10c to ISc. Little Orlando 6c
Ten sizes enable us to use a fine grade of tobacco without
waste — the secret of high quality at low prices.
Orlando is sold oaly in United Cigar Stores— " 7%anJI: jroa/"
UNITED CIGAR STORES
One of a series by the Federal Advertising Agency creating a distinct
192 Making Advertisements
fined to small town papers, but it is interesting to
find that Lowell found the newspapers guilty
of speaking of ^' a disastrous conflagration "
when they meant a fire, of '' calling into requisi-
tion the services of the family physician " when
they meant sending for the doctor, and of " ten-
dering him a banquet " when they meant asking
him to dine.
Hill found in the newspapers of his day the
same tendency. He found '' floral tribute " in-
stead of flowers, " lack of finances " instead of
poverty, '' itinerant merchant " instead of ped-
dler, '' convertible into cash " instead of money
value, '^ united in the holy bonds of matrimony "
instead of married, and '' piscatorial sport " in-
stead of fishing. And that was nearly thirty
Today, in advertising, in the attempt to
throw individuality around merchandise, there
is a similar danger. You will find a washing
machine called a mechanical laundress. Men's
clothes are referred to as exclusive apparel for
gentlemen. Tailors are called drapers and civil-
ian clothes are described as mufti.
Often the use of stately words will be de-
fended on the ground that they help to create
The Right Word in the Right Place 193
atmosphere. But sometimes stilted forms lead
to trouble as they did in the case of the jewelry
house which advertised: "Blank & Co. —
Watches for women of exclusive design and dis-
tinctive appearance.'' Don Marquis clipped
that advertisement for " The Sun Dial," his
column in the New York Evening Sun, and
added the heading " So do we all."
Fifth, foreign words, particularly French
words, have a use in advertising which would
not be sanctioned in other forms of writing. In
fashions the skilful use of French, particularly
if you make it so simple that the English mean-
ing can be guessed by most people, helps to com-
plete the picture. One perfume manufacturer's
copy was entirely written in French and then, as
if as an afterthought, the English translation was
added. It was quite a game for the girls — see-
ing how much they could understand without
referring to the explanation. And it helped to
sell a lot of perfume. A big department store in
New York goes so far as to use French headings
for many of its fashion advertisements. It gives
French names to some of its departments, and
has French writers on its advertising staff. Why
194 Making Advertisements
Sixth, the use of figurative words has a real
place in advertising — if you don't mix your
figures. Our speech today is full of figures of
speech and a lot of business men do not realize
that they use expressions which once were
They speak of driving a bargain, of a sharp
voice, of fleecy clouds, of a wild idea, of digest-
ing a report, of a striking remark. And every
italicised word was first used in that sense by
some unbusinesslike soul like Shelley or Keats or
From Dr. Johnson's " Life of Addison," Hill
quotes this passage:
" Fired with that name,
I bridle In my Struggling muse with pain,
That longs to launch Into a nobler strain.
" * To bridle a goddess,' roars the old Doctor, * Is
no very delicate idea; but why must she be bridled?
Because she longs to launch; an act which was never
hindered by a bridle: and whither will she launch?
Into a nobler strain. She Is In the first line a horse,
in the second a boat; and the care of the poet is to
keep his horse or his boat from singing.' "
And here are three other instances by less dis-
The Right Word in the Right Place 195
'* Reports indicate that the backbone of the cold
wave is broken."
" Carlo received severe injuries at the hands of
" A sea of upturned faces was watching the bulle-
tins, shouting and hissing as each new return came
If a figure of speech is intended to create a
picture before the eye, the difficulty here seems
to be that these v^riters were producing a whole
To sum it up, suppose we take a paragraph
directly from Hill himself:
" If, in short, a writer sincerely wishes to com-
municate to another mind what is in his own mind,
he will choose that one of two or more words equally
In good use which expresses his meaning as fully
as it Is within the power of language to express It.
If he wishes to be understood, he will choose the
word that points straight to the object It represents,
and to nothing else. If he wishes also to Interest or
to move his reader, he will choose the word that ex-
cites the desired feeling, either directly or Indirectly
— by what it means, or by what It suggests through
the association of Ideas. In every case, he will
choose the word that calls least attention to Itself as
a word, and thus enables the reader to give his whole
mind to what it signifies or suggests."
A MAN who was discussing a proposed adver-
tising campaign said the other day:
" Now, our business is peculiar."
That man had the first qualification of becom-
ing a regular advertiser. He had grouped all
business into two classes : his own and others.
Advertising men hear, from day to day, that
the furniture business is peculiar, that the book
publishing business is peculiar, that the china
business, the insurance business, the shoe busi-
ness, the real estate business, the collar business,
the rug business, the men's clothing business —
that all these businesses are peculiar. To which
the answer is, of course, that the most peculiar
business in the world is the advertising business.
It is most peculiar because it must recognize
the peculiarities in other businesses without
being blinded to the great fundamentals which
underlie all of them.
All businesses have in common the elements
of production and distribution. Administra-
200 Making Advertisements
tion is a part of production just as selling is a part
One manufacturer may send his own salesmen
direct to the trade and another may sell to job-
bers and be unable to tell what happens to his
product after that. One advertiser may manu-
facture his merchandise from raw materials and
another advertiser may be only the selling agent
for a factory or a group of factories. One man
may advertise a product which is bought every
day by millions of men or women and another
may advertise a product which the consumer
never consciously buys — like the piston ring of
an automobile cylinder — and which is bought
once or twice a year by only a handful of men.
And yet so elastic and powerful is the force
called advertising that it can be made to serve
the purposes of all these advertisers in all the
permutations of their industries.
One after another the business men of this
country have discovered that they too can use
this force which has helped men in other lines
of business. The history of advertising in this
country has been the awakening of one industry
For generations bankers thought they couldn't
In his copy for the Columbia
Trust Company, J. K. Fraser
has proved that a bank's adver-
tisement can be as interesting
and comprehensive as any
Ingenious Mr. B
How he plans
to provide for hid fanuly
Mr. B.. 53 jFwn old. •tiried, wiib tw* ckUdm,
tus accumuUied A5$.000 is New Y«rk nd «ut0
Now thit Ml. B. hu oud* a good ttut \n Itfc. bs
ulU tu be U chieflj cooccmed about bi* CubUj —
"in cate anjthing iboold bappoa.**
Id tbia frame of'toljid, be re»d reoeetly ooe of our
ad*ertueincnU •dvocatiog Tmsl Fnads. It bdped
bim cTjfulIixe ui Idea tb«t be had. Be caaa
lo ice <u aboot il.
He put hia t35.000 into • Trvt Food wbicfa pr^
ridf* for the foUowiiig^
The Tnut Companj will iaveal tbe prioatpal ui
•oand aecorttiew aod coUe<t tbo iaooae-^^-approxi*
matelj 91800. Oot of thu the Company will pay «o
annual premium of 91325 on 950,000 life inau/uice
wbicb Ur. B. baa taken oot «j pth of bia plan.
'Qxia leave* a marpn of about 947S wbicb tba
Tnut Companj wdl credit to Ur. 6*« chec^inf aooonsX
On faU deatb, Mr. B*a eatata will at leMl aaovat to
150,000 inaonnce plua tbe Taloe of tfa« Tnut Faod,
making an aaaored total of $85,000.
Bat Mr. B. waa too far-aigbted to pot tbe rcapoo*
tibility of inTcatiog ao large a aom upon* his wife.
Inatead, be baa arranged in bia will to have bia eatate
*'put in Tmat.* Tbua, ibroagb -tbe Tniat CoBpanr,
hia wife wiH receive a aieAdj incooie for life. Or, if
the cbildrcn aboold aorrtre ber, tbe eatau U to be
divided between them, wbei^ the jounger, now a Utile
gill of three, beoomea of age.
In p aaaiDg tbia oommoo-aenae plaa ea to jou, we
ftUggcst that you look further into
A COLUMBU TRUST FUND
for safeguarding the money you Uax^
The plan ia tbia;
1. A Colombia Trust Faad is aiciply mtrmrj td ati^la
a&der tbe proCectioo <U die CoHnabis Tniit Conpuy
and LarcMod u provide asrared taoMDe (or de&aiu
2. Life bu«rsaee or C07 other aiolMy may b« osad to
fona tb« Tnui Famd. Ve ire boand hj ■ wrioca
B^Tcmcot to carry ami yoor viihm defcately and
3. Ve wiD make inveacaeBts of the Trast FoaJ fat
yoa in such aeca/toes ai are UWul Eoir TnMiin. or.
if yoQ prefct.'yea can f^t as dc£aka fawpaetis^i
4. laeoae &om tba Tnut Toad viU b« paid la lastall.
mentt ta tc^am yon wlAb aad wAcn yon wbk sad
ia th« wmemni yoa wl»^
Toe csa taka ap tbii natur al aay of oar ofieaa. Raasa
•tk (or tbe Vk«-Pr««i<irat or Kaaa^n ia chttft. Be •riU
b« glad to talk wub fou pfnoaallj had prooipdy — of
o>ur«« taitkout obLjaiMD oa your pari.
202 Making Advertisements
advertise. Their business was peculiar. There
would be a run on any institution which so far
forgot its dignity as openly to solicit business.
The idea was, apparently, that each bank was
supposed to hold at all times just as much money
as it could accommodate without bursting.
In the past ten years this has changed. Some
of the most intelligent advertising now appear-
ing is signed by the strongest financial institu-
tions in this country.
Insurance companies are only just beginning
to emerge, as a class, into the field of advertising.
Accountants still have more reticence than the
nature of their work warrants. They are selling
a service no more confidential than a banker's.
It is difficult to think of any business which can-
not be advertised. No, that's an exaggeration.
Doctors shouldn't advertise ; the good ones have
more than they can do now and the poor ones
shouldn't be told how to increase their scope.
And burglars shouldn't either. It would be
fatal. That's one business that is peculiar.
Stock exchange houses have very excellent rea-
sons for conservatism, but a few of them have
discovered that it is not necessary to engage in
bucket shop language in order to do something
The Campaign 203
more than converse in code with one another as
most of them still do.
As each new industry has emerged from the
great silence, the pioneers have passed through
certain stages in their attitude toward making
advertisements. First their copy was confined
to the good old ^' John Jones, M. D." school of
card advertising. Then some bright bookkeeper
or useless relative devised a few snappy phrases
like " Ours is best — why buy the rest? " Com-
bined with the firm name and the trade-mark
and set by the printer's devil at the local news-
paper office this advertising marked a distinct
advance. Possibly a fancy rule border and one
or two ornaments of pointing hands or conven-
tionalized bay trees were thrown in for good
measure if they were within reach of the young
Years elapse. Part three will follow imme-
diately. One day the advertiser sees one of his
competitors saying something in his advertising.
This is unprecedented. Inquiry reveals the
news that an advertising firm has prepared the
Eventually an advertising man sits in the old
factory office, listening to the head of the house
204 Making Advertisements
as he explains the product's manufacture and its
" Now, the first thing for you to remember,"
he begins, '' is that our business is peculiar.''
Then begins the task of getting both view-
points into the firm's advertising. The manu-
facturer sees his product from the inside. He
may be so close to it that he can get no perspec-
tive on it. That is his danger. The advertising
man sees the product from the outside. He may
be so far from it that he has no knowledge of it.
That is his danger. The problem is to get an in-
side-outside viewpoint so that the consumer, who
may be assumed to know nothing whatever about
the product and to care less, can be told intelli-
gently how he must come to think about it.
" We look at the stars," says Sir Rabindranath
Tagore, *' and they seem to be still ; we look at
the earth and it seems to be flat. Yet we know
that the stars are rushing through space and that
the earth is really a ball."
With one we are too far away, like the con-
sumer. With the other we are too close, like
There is a simple and valid reason for the ad-
vertiser's desire to have his advertising prepared
Your Speech to the
Suppose you are asked to make an address to the
Tide- Water Association or to the annual banquet of
the Lapidary Employers' Board,
It is a matter of great moment; you write and rewrite
your remarks and rehearse all the details. It may even
entail a new dress coat and the finishing touches of a
And- yet at most, you will actually talk to no more
than two thousand people directly and perhaps three
times that number through reprints in the trade press.
Are you equally careful of your speech to millions
in the advertising columns?
Do you employ the best brains without stint to
prepare your messages?
These messages of yours do not go to hundreds at
a banquet-table; they go to millions in the homes, and
when your chance comes to speak to a whole nation,
if it be only for two minutes, you ought to have the
best speech-maker in the nation as your mentor.
When you advertise nationally, employ experts to pre-
pare your speech — your message — your advertisement.
Publishers are in a position to appreciatjs the best
work of the leading agencies.
Advertising space in the Butterick publications
is for sale by accredited advertising agencies.
Butteric k — Publisher
Two dollars the year each
The newspaper campaign of Butterick, conceived and mostly written by
Stanley Latshaw, has done incalculable good for Advertising. In words of
one syllable it has explained the sound fundamentals of the business with
vigor y simplicity — and a smile.
2o6 Making Advertisements
by some one trained in observation and in writ-
ing. It is this:
You put an advertisement in a newspaper or a
magazine and it immediately goes into competi-
tion with the best writing brains of the country.
More than that, the writers of editorial material
have an advantage at the start. The public buys
the newspaper or the magazine for its editorial
Now imagine an advertisement coming in
competition with the human, timely, vivid words
in the headlines and columns of a newspaper or
with the stories, articles and pictures of the high-
est paid authors and artists in the country.
The trained writer of advertising applies to
business the same knowledge of human emotions
that the newspaper man applies to current events
and the author to fiction. Imagine such an ad-
vertisement written by a man whose chief exer-
cise in composition consists of dictating letters
that start: "Yours of the tenth at hand and in
reply would say."
Yet the writing of advertising looks easy. It's
one of those jobs which every man in his heart
thinks he could do better than the man who's do-
ing it — like running a hotel, producing a musi-
The Campaign 207
cal comedy and editing a newspaper. A dis-
tinguished author once told about writing an ad-
vertisement for a friend who manufactured tooth
brushes. He said that for days he wrestled with
himself for the very salvation of his soul before
he produced anything he would show. And
when he finally showed it do you think it was
used? It certainly was. But that author con-
fessed that no essay or short story that he had
ever written called for thinking of so many
things at once as that advertisement, and he
honestly believed that it was one of the best
pieces of writing he had ever done.
He said so very frankly, for he was not afflicted
by the curious patronizing attitude which many
persons of limited literary ability feel, or affect
to feel, toward commercial work. There is a
certain type of mind which feels that it con-
stantly must vindicate itself on its contact with
business. In some newspaper offices and pub-
lishing houses this attitude may be traced back
to the day when the '' must " order from the busi-
ness office was received by the editorial depart-
ment in righteous indignation.
Today it is usually a pose assumed by persons
who feel that a disorderly desk is a mark of in-
2o8 Making Advertisements
tellect and that a knowledge of the simple funda-
mentals of business is to be disowned. It is an
odd survival of the day when a person who wrote
was regarded as queer and believed that he must
live up to his part.
There are numberless men of high attainments
now engaged only in commercial writing — men
who, like the editorial writers of newspapers, are
satisfied to remain anonymous because their
greatest pleasure is the knowledge of the influ-
ence that they are exerting over their fellow-
Occasionally an artist who finds that he cannot
support his family by drawing for the editorial
pages seeks to enter the advertising field with an
apology for prostituting his talents. He finds
the field in the possession of very astute business
men who look like lawyers or bond salesmen or
any other group of aggressive, clean-cut business
men and whose ability to draw is in inverse ratio
to the length of their hair and ties.
They give value for value received. They
make a picture according to specifications just as
an architect makes his plans to suit the family of
his client. They assume that advertisers are ra-
tional human beings who pay well and expect
The Campaign 209
sensible cooperation instead of temperament.
The entrance of some of our greatest painters and
illustrators into advertising work has completely
changed the aspect of our bill-boards.
Recently a magazine writer with a large na-
tional following decided that the unsettled life
of a free lance was not building anything for
him. His earlier training had been in a pub-
lishing house where he had observed the mak-
ing of advertisements. He decided to enter the
advertising agency business.
A friend of his asked him why in the world he
should go into a business of so many perplexi-
ties and worries when he had already reached
a point of literary independence. This was his
" I know that very likely I can always find a
market for my stories. But I'm tired of living
in a world of unrealities. Business today is the
most fascinating study on earth. Contact with
men who are originating business projects,
changing the habits of their countrymen, fighting
through difficulties, is infinitely more worth-
while than sitting off somewhere alone writing
about imaginary people doing imaginary things."
And today that man finds greater satisfaction,
2IO Making Advertisements
he says, in writing the story of a great business
institution's progress than he ever found in pur-
suing Mabel and Harold through the vicissitudes
of their courtship to the end of the chapter.
There are at least three ways to write adver-
tising. One is to read all the printed matter
previously written about a subject, go through
all the scrap-books of advertisements already
run, and then rewrite the material thus obtained.
Some men honestly feel that they can do their
best work in this way, for they say that they can
build upon the work already done by others.
Certainly there is something to be gained by dis-
covering what not to do, but if a man's inquiry
preliminary to writing copy is confined to study-
ing precedents, he will have difficulty in getting
a fresh viewpoint. He will find phrases sticking
in his mind. Angles of approach devised by
others and proved moderately successful will
keep looming up.
Another way is to depend upon inspiration.
There may have been a time when the prepara-
tion of copy could be done by inspiration.
Horn-rimmed glasses had quite a vogue in our
best copy departments. There may have been
a day when an advertising writer could look at
The Campaign 211
the ceiling a moment, jot down a few quick
words and then exclaim:
" There, Mr. McGillicuddy! That's the best
possible slogan for your kippered herring!"
But that day has passed. Today advertisements
have to sell goods and create good will.
A few years ago an advertising man opened
an agency in which the chief attraction was an
art department in which all the artists were
ranged at drawing boards beside the windows,
all dressed in sky-blue smocks and wearing Per-
sian orange tam-o'-shanters. This advertising
man called his office his " study." He said that
these surroundings helped him find inspiration.
But, as a general thing, a musical comedy back-
ground cannot be said to be conducive to good
The third way is to start fresh. See the fac-
tory. Try the product. Learn to know the men
who make it. Try it out on people. Find out
for yourself how good it is. Get excited about it.
Then, instead of having a campaign seem like
a chore that must be done, it will simply be a
question of how soon and how fast you can get
your ideas down on paper.
In the newspaper business it is recognized that
212 Making Advertisements
a man who gets his facts at first-hand can write
with infinitely greater vividness than a man who
doesn't. Men in the office are sent out on assign-
ments to see and hear with their own eyes and
*^ Were you there? How did he look when
he said that? What kind of place does he live
in? Did you see his family? How old a man is
he? Does he look prosperous? " the city editors
ask. Just as direct and intimate questions about
a product ought to be answered by an advertis-
ing writer before he sits down to write.
Many advertising men have come to believe
that a lot of sincerity and strength may be miss-
ing from advertising copy if one man talks to
the advertiser and another man writes the copy.
Ail the fire and inspiration of personal contact is
lost. Instructions are often misinterpreted.
Too frequently the object is to get an O. K. on
an advertisement rather than to make it sell mer-
chandise and create an accurate picture of the
businesses personality. Certainly it is safer to
say that a sincere note will be obtained at first
After the maker of advertisements has dug out
his facts, visualized and planned his advertise-
The Campaign 213
ments, assembled his layouts and written his
copy — then comes the most critical time in the
life of an advertisement. It is when he sits down
with the advertiser to go over what has been pre-
In every field in which writing is done, except
advertising, revision is quite as much a matter of
training as creation.
Chester Lord, who was for thirty-five years
managing editor of The Sun, said the other day
that he had known only three or four good copy-
readers in his experience.
^' To change another man's writing," said he,
" and do it constructively, a man must put him-
self into the writer's attitude of mind — snap-
ping out a word here or touching up a phrase
there. Merely to make it conform to your own
ideas isn't editing. You must keep the best and
cut only the deadwood ! "
No one will ever know how many brilliant
copy ideas have been lost to the advertisingworld
only because the wrong man had the power of
life and death, chiefly death, over them. When
a startling idea appears in a concern's advertis-
ing, something as new as " Spotless Town " or
the ^' Prince Albert " smoking tobacco series, ad-
214 Making Advertisements
vertisers immediately shout: " That's the sort of
thing we want! "
Yet many advertising men will tell you that
when they suggest radical innovations in an ad-
vertiser's copy, the usual first comment is:
" Well, you know this is a very conservative
house and we have to be very careful to preserve
our dignity." One agency man once said that
advertisers had two reasons for refusing copy —
either that it had been done too often or that it
had never been done before.
But the answer seems to be that too many new
ideas are submitted in a half-baked condition
and that the man entrusted with spending the
hard-earned cash of his firm is not willing to
spend it on anything of doubtful soundness.
When an idea is right, even if it is new, when its
originator knows that it is right and is prepared
to fight for it, there is no difficulty about getting
the advertiser's approval unless he has the busi-
ness stamina of a jelly-fish.
Of course every man is his own favorite author
and it takes a pretty broad-gauged citizen to see
that another viewpoint or style may be quite as
good as his own. But there is a sound reason for
an advertiser to permit the best to remain in ad-
The Campaign 215
vertising copy if he is convinced that it has been
That reason is that the trained writer knows
how his writing will sound to the man who reads
it cold. Training in writing enables a man to
express thought to another. The untrained
writer knows perfectly well what he thinks, but
from what he writes an outsider has no way of
Words have values like notes in music, like
colors in painting. Training shows a man what
values are transmitted to other people.
But to know what value words will have to
other people means that you must also know what
sort of people you are addressing.
Two men were duck-shooting — one a sea-
soned sportsman and the other out for his first
bird. They looked up and saw a cloud of ducks
''Help yourself!" the veteran said. The
novice fired. Not a feather fluttered.
" How in the world could I miss all of them? "
" You didn't pick your duck," was the answer.
" You fired at the whole flock."
If an advertisement is to contain the con-
2i6 Making Advertisements
sumer's viewpoint it must be made with a knowl-
edge of the consumer's personality, sex, tastes,
location and habits. You can't sell anything to
Canadians by showing them returning soldiers
wearing American uniforms.
George Ade, who is a master in narrowing
down a whole class to one human being, starts
one of his Fables like this:
" The owner of a Furnishing Store gave em-
ployment to a Boy with Dreamy Eyes, who took
good care of his Nails and used Scented Soap
and carried a Pocket Looking-Glass."
The maker of advertisements reverses the
process. A fiction writer picks out the qualities
common to thousands of people and presents
them in a character whom every one recognizes.
An advertising writer thinks of a person who is
typical of a class and addresses him so pointedly
that the message reaches out and touches thou-
sands of other people.
One of the most vital facts for an advertising
man to remember is that he must never let him-
self lose the consumer viewpoint which he had
before he started studying a product.
Recently an advertising man carried home
some proofs of a campaign on rugs. He told
The Campaign 217
his wife that he was thinking of buying two or
three of those rugs for their house. She read
through several of the advertisements and then
'^ What sizes are these rugs and how much do
they cost? " Those proofs were corrected the
Habit or traditions may lead a manufacturer
to omit from his copy some of the most important
information. Unless the advertising man is very
careful he will find himself slipping into the
sophisticated attitude of the manufacturer.
The more conscientious he is about digging into
his subject, the greater is his danger.
An advertising man was invited to talk to the
vice-president of a bank about his institution's
advertising. They had several talks and the
plans were taking shape.
One day the advertising man walked into the
bank with a very fat book under his arm. It was
an exhaustive reference volume on the methods
and practices of banking.
" What on earth are you going to do with
that? " asked the banker.
" I'm going to study it/' was the answer.
" Then I won't have to ask so many questions."
2i8 Making Advertisements
'' Yes, and then you won't be any better off
than we are," said the vice-president. " Ask us
all the questions you want to. But don't get
smothered in technicalities. We want you to
keep on thinking like a depositor — not like a
So the book was never read. And the adver-
IDEAS ON IDEA ADVERTISING
IDEAS ON IDEA ADVERTISING
You probably have a favorite morning or eve-
ning newspaper which you read because — as
you occasionally explain to some one — it has
such good editorials.
How many of those editorials have you read
this week? Unless you are very different from
most people you mean to follow the editorial
page very closely, and perhaps you think you do,
but the fact is that you dip into it only occasion-
ally. You sample it now and then just to see that
the flavor hasn't changed. But the days on
which you actually read it through column after
column — aren't they mighty few?
And yet in every newspaper office is an earnest
group of conscientious and intelligent gentle-
men, searching out information, weighing
opinions, polishing sentences which eventually
reach a mighty small fraction of that newspa-
It's not the fault of the editorial writers. It's
the fault of the newspaper's composing room.
222 Making Advertisements
Newspapers' editorials are set in type that is too
small, and they are too badly displayed.
There is an editorial writer whose utterances
appear in a chain of evening papers and who is
credited with receiving a salary of $100,000 a
year. Yet it is said that for several years this
man's editorials appeared without exciting the
slightest comment. It was not until they were
moved to the back page and set in type two sizes
larger than the type in the adjoining columns
that his reputation started to grow. Then peo-
ple began to discover the art in his simplicity, the
strength of his words of one syllable.
Meanwhile most of the other editorial writers
of the country remain anonymous and obscure —
not because many of them may not have so much
ability as this man, but because they are buried.
It is as if an orator worked himself into a froth of
emotion, threw out both arms, opened his mouth
and then — whispered.
And that is why we occasionally see the voters
of a city or a state or the whole country voting
exactly as the press told them not to vote. Com-
pelling arguments were assembled, the logic was
irrefutable, the rhetoric was glorious — but the
editorials simply weren't read.
/ would found aft institution where any person
•^can find instruction in any subject "—£yra Comtll
A PiosEER in industry was Ezra Cornell; and a path-
finder in education as well Hard-headed, self-made,
practical old man, he wanted to leave his money where
its power would be multiplied through the centuries, in
the lives of college-trained men. So he founded Cdmell
University to be a "producer of producers."
As a university it was the pioneer in emphasizing the
importance of applied science in the life-training ot
m.en It was th* pioneer in being wholly non-scctariaa.
It is pioneering still in adopting theunosual coune of pre-
senting, through advertising, its gr:at need to the far
sighted business menofAmerica,who know that the future
of every important enterprise depends npon trained men.
1^0KNELL,witK twice as many students as her endowment
can provide for, with Professors paid less than many skilled
laborers, must somehow be helped to provide those rrien.
She must have ^10,000,000 if she is to goon.
Producer 0/" Producers!
She Mutt go 00 1
This jdTcrti?fm»nt, the fim of a strict. Is piid for by a
friend of Co«NElL Unhirsity through the
Ntw York Ccrnill Endowment
COMMITTEE, JI I Fi/Ul Ave.
Cornell was sold to the New York public, as well as to its own alumni body,
by Bruce Barton in this, the first paid advertising campaign ever used by
an American University.
224 Making Advertisements
Therein lies one of advertising's greatest op-
portunities for development in the next ten years
— the development of advertising to influence
public opinion. This kind of advertising is as
little advanced today as commercial advertising
was twenty years ago.
Yet, after all, isn't it merely an extension of
principles already proved in advertising?
Every sort of advertising influences public
opinion and changes habits of mind. Advertis-
ing has changed American habits of eating, of
dressing, of amusementj of building and furnish-
ing homes. Why shouldn't it change habits of
Roughly this kind of advertising up to the
present time can be divided into two classes —
that which is in the public interest, like the war
campaigns about food and welfare work and
more recently the church campaigns; and that
which is in the private interest of corporate
bodies, like the campaigns of the traction com-
panies for higher fares, or the information sup-
plied by the packers about their profits, or the
telephone company's efifort to reduce useless
It seems that thus far the campaigns in the
Ideas on Idea Advertising 225
public interest have been more successfully
handled than the efforts of private concerns.
No better full-page advertisements were ever
prepared than some of those sent back from
France by the staff of The Stars and Stripes for
one of the Liberty Loans. Early in the war the
advertising profession was organized under Wil-
liam H. Johns as chairman of the Advertising
Division of the Committee of Public Informa-
tion, and the business principles which had been
selling biscuits and shoes and dictating machines
were put to work to bui-ld ships and catch spies
and raise funds.
Even in political advertising there have been
flashes of intelligence, though for the most part
the advertising of issues and candidates has in-
dicated too little knowledge of the difference
between editorial writing and advertising writ-
ing, too much hurry and too much self-glorifi-
Perhaps political advertising originated in a
day when the political party subsidized the pa-
per which favored it. Believing that it might
as well get something for its money, or perhaps
to make the campaign records look better, the
party took some space and made a splurge.
226 Making Advertisements
It didn't matter much what went in that space.
That has been the great trouble with political ad-
vertising. It has been turned over to an al-
ready over-worked press agent who threw to-
gether anything that occurred to him at the last
moment. It was hurriedly set by the newspaper
and appeared on the following morning with
about twice as much in it as anybody could pos-
It's been only recently that politicians have
realized that advertising can help them sell their
arguments. They wouldn't think of sending out
a stuttering campaign speaker. They know that
training is needed to take the stump. Now they
are seeing that the same training that sells mer-
chandise can sell ideas; and that those ideas can
be political ideas as well as business ideas.
If advertising space is used by candidates for
the simple, convincing presentation of their talk-
ing points, instead of for mud-slinging, it can
create a favorable impression of a personality
just as it creates a favorable impression of a
brand of merchandise.
The trouble with much of the good-will ad-
vertising done by the corporations seems to be
three-fold: It waits until the eleventh hour be-
Ideas on Idea Advertising 227
fore it appeals to the public; it has an apologetic
tone, and it sounds too selfish.
There are conspicuous exceptions, the most
frequently quoted being the long and consistent
campaign of the American Telephone and Tele-
Years ago this company started telling the
public about the telephone, and today, even in
the tangles of readjustment to a peace-time basis,
the public has a great fund of patience and kind-
liness for the crippled service. In this advertis-
ing there was no idea of waiting until adverse
legislation seemed imminent. One interesting,
broad-visioned view of the telephone's service
to the country has followed another. With a
background like this it is not necessary to cringe
with an apology when an emergency arises.
The day before the Brooklyn street-car strike
began the telephone people, anticipating the
number of Freds who would have to phone the
Helens that they couldn't get home for dinner,
asked the public not to rush to the phones. Im-
mediately after a munitions explosion in New
Jersey the telephone company devoted its space
to telling that the lines were blocked by curiosity-
calls put in by people who simply wanted to
228 Making Advertisements
know what had happened. As a result, the work
of calling doctors and nurses was delayed. The
telephone company simply told the facts. The
public's good will toward the company dispelled
any idea of resentment. The right idea of the
company had been started years before.
The other day a group of men were discussing
the latent possibilities in the idea of a non-parti-
san, publicly controlled advertising bureau to in-
fluence public opinion on all sorts of subjects. It
could check unwise tendencies, big and little.
It could sow constructive ideas in millions of
minds every day.
Suppose this public advertising bureau started
with business manners. It could make people
stop having their operators call other people on
the phone and hold them until the man who
started the call gets ready to talk. It could
abolish the use of the word conference.
" Sorry, but Mr. Jenkins is in a conference,"
says his secretary. The fiction still persists in
spite of the general knowledge that Mr. Jen-
kins's conference usually consists of telling his
assistant that he made the eleventh hole in three
It could make everybody keep to the right on
^n Advert isement by
The Pullman Company
Courtesy, '" '^^ '"^-i^-
•^ duction tothe
book of instruction for Pullman
employes occurs the phrase: "The
most important feature to be ob-
served at all times is to satisfy and please passengers,
and again, "the reputation of the service depends as
much upon the efficiency of employes as upon the
facilities provided by the Company for the comfort
of its patrons."
Such personal service cannot be instantly developed; it
can be achieved only through years of experience and the
close personal study of the wide range of requirements of
twenty-six million passengers.
To retain in the Pullman service experienced car em-
ployes of high personal qualifications, pensions are provided
for the years that follow their retirement from active service,
provision is afforded for sick relief assistance and increases in
pay are given at regular intervals with respect to the num-
ber of years of continuous and satisfactory employment.
A further inducement in which civility and courtesy axe
counted of great importance, is the award of an extra month's
pay each year for an unblemished record. As a result, a
large percentage of Pullman conductors and porters are
qualified by many years of experience to render passengers
the highest type of personal service.
An advertisement may be used to sell nothing hut service. Joseph Hus-
band of Husband Iff Thomas has made us all forget that we ever met an auto-
cratic Pullman conductor or that the porter achieves a complete reversal of
form just before tipping-time.
Ideas on Idea Advertising 229
stairways and on sidewalks. It could abolish
speeding on our streets, just as intelligent adver-
tising of Safety First has minimized the number
of factory accidents. It could wipe out the hat-
checking nuisance and washroom tipping.
It could go right into people's homes and give
husbands and wives something to talk about in
the evenings. There would be a lot less unhap-
piness if advertising showed the tired business
man how uninteresting he is to his wife and if it
showed her what obstacles he overcomes every
day, how many cranky people he meets, what
disappointments he has to face and keep on smil-
Think how it could develop and encourage
the reading of books. Think how interest in
good plays, even the civic drama, could be de-
veloped. Think how the question of personal
hygiene could be presented as it never was before
except in the Government's educational cam-
paign to soldiers.
Now in all this is one underlying idea. It is
to give a person the other fellow's viewpoint.
Most people are good people when you get to
know them. You have probably had the ex-
perience of disliking a man intensely the first
230 Making Advertisements
time you met him. After you got acquainted,
after you found out what difficulties he had to
overcome, how sincerely he was trying to do his
best, you probably forgot your dislike and began
to admire him. Unless a man makes friends
very easily he is constantly revising his opinions
of his fellow men.
The purpose of advertising to influence public
opinion is to give people the other man's view-
Most of the work of this sort has been done by
publicity men through the news columns. Idea
advertising is still at the stage where business
men used to be willing to pay anything for a free
write-up in their local paper.
There seems to be a feeling that motives will
be suspected if the advertising columns are used.
People who want to sell ideas are still apt to pre-
fer to be anonymous — to make it appear that
the newspaper is sponsor for the thought. That
has two obvious disadvantages. First, the re-
action is always adverse when the real sponsor is
discovered. And second, propaganda in the
news isn't seen by as many people, isn't as efifect-
ively presented and doesn't tell a person that he
is expected to do something about it. A press
Ideas on Idea Advertising 231
bureau sends you a clipping about yourself from
your morning paper. Mounted on a slip it looks
quite impressive. You wonder why you didn't
see it. The reason you didn't see it was because a
good advertisement in the next column com-
pletely overshadowed it. After a man's name
appears in the papers he is always surprised that
more people don't speak to him about it. They
just didn't see it.
Suppose that all the tools employed in selling
merchandise were employed in selling ideas.
Suppose that the business men of the East told
their story to the farmers of the West and that
the farmers reciprocated. There could be no
civil strife in a country where a perfect mutual
understanding was promoted by an exchange of
temperate, sound, convincing, sincere advertis-
Think what this country could do if it sold
itself as a nation to Mexico and to Japan. Those
countries are full of people who, like us, are try-
ing to buy food, raiment and shelter for their
families. Our problems differ only in the de-
You remember that Mark Twain said that
everybody talks about the weather and nobody
232 Making Advertisements
does anything about it. That is exactly the pub-
lic attitude toward the self-centred radicalism
that made Russia the grimmest joke of the cen-
turies, that makes the front page of our papers
look like a convention of walking delegates.
This country is composed of people who act
sensibly when they are informed. The masses
of the people have never been told in simple,
direct language about the problems of capital.
An American who was in Russia when the
monarchy was overthrown says that peasants and
soldiers came up to him on the street to examine
his hands. If the nails were clean they called
him an aristocrat. Conceptions no less ridicu-
lous are circulated about men of means today
and the men of means aren't telling how ridicu-
lous it is. The masses have never been shown
clearly where all this turmoil will lead them and
their children unless it is stopped.
A kettle boils at the bottom first. Heat has
never been applied to the radical kettle where it
There are two stories to be told to this country
and advertising, and only advertising, can tell
them. One consists of a few plain home truths
about economics and the way it affects Bert and
Ideas on Idea Advertising 233
Mike and Tessie just as much as it does their
bosses. The other consists of a vivid picture of
the misery, pestilence and death that the wild red
thing brings with it.
With those two ideas sold to the public of all
incomes in short, continuous advertisements,
well-illustrated and well-displayed, nothing can
happen to this country.
Such a campaign would be not in the interests
of any class or group, not even in the interests of
the Government, in the sense of the party now in
power. It would be in the interests of just one
thing — the American form of government
which, with all its faults, looks mighty good to
Americans after the past four years.
WHERE IS ADVERTISING GOING?
WHERE IS ADVERTISING GOING?
John Plainfield sits down in front of the fire
after breakfast on Sunday morning and lights
his pipe and opens his paper. He is an ideal
prospect for the shirt sale advertisement on page
sixteen. He has the money, the discrimination,
and he is open-minded about shirts. But just
as he reaches page fourteen his wife calls down:
" John, dear, won't you see what's the matter
with the back door? It won't latch." And
John, like the dutiful husband he is, goes to fix
And he never returns to that section of the pa-
per. And all the thought, time, energy and
money put into that shirt sale advertisement is
wasted so far as John is concerned.
If there are enough Johns who are fond of
their wives and enough broken back doors that
Sunday morning, only one thing can happen.
The advertising manager will send for his assist-
ants on Monday morning and say:
238 Making Advertisements
" Our copy for that shirt sale was rotten."
Whereas the copy may have been superb and the
real fault may have been in advertising to the
Johns on Sunday, when they are subject to dis-
tracting assignments of work from the Janes.
Jane Plainfield, the following Tuesday after-
noon, settles down comfortably with the newest
issue of her favorite fiction magazine and a box
of chocolates. It being a rainy afternoon she
decides to finish both of them.
On page 287 is an advertisement of a new
vacuum cleaner and Jane is so sure that she needs
one that she has put it on her shopping list for
tomorrow. But just as she reaches page 285 the
door-bell rings and here are Helen and Mabel
with their knitting and an earnest desire for con-
So Jane never sees page 287 and tomorrow she
goes to town and buys the vacuum cleaner which
the salesman wants to sell her instead of the one
which the advertiser on page 287 wanted her to
buy. And if enough of these rainy afternoons
are interrupted by calling knitters, the adver-
tising manager of the vacuum cleaner company
will show his agent the record of inquiries from
Mrs. Plainfield's favorite magazine and will say
Where is Advertising Going ? 239
sadly: '^ I'm afraid you folks aren't giving our
stufif enough punch."
It's exactly like golf. So many things in life
are like golf. You may practise your follow-
through half a dozen times until you know ab-
solutely that your club head goes out straight
ahead in the direction of the green. And then
you hit the ball and because you turned your
wrist a shade too much or moved your body
ahead of your swing or looked up or made one of
a dozen other mistakes, the ball bounces along
the ground — topped! And you blame your
follow-through, whereas the trouble was with
your feet or your head or your eyes or your tim-
The psychologists tell us that experiments
show that a cat's digestive organs go on strike
when a dog enters the room. If fear has that
efifect on a cat, think what anger, envy, jealousy,
hunger, poverty, laughter, ambition and any
other sensation can have on a human being; and
A flesh-and-blood salesman can draw away
when he sees that his prospect is not in an ap-
proachable mood. And he approaches only
those who are apt to buy. But a printed sales-
240 Making Advertisements
man, an advertisement, blunders right ahead and
goes after the sale of nursing bottles to old bache-
lors, adding machines to debutantes, perfumes
to bellboys, condensed milk to financiers, fishing
tackle to dear old ladies and so on — all because
people, thus far, read each other's magazines
and do not permit themselves to be card-indexed
according to sex, age, taste and income.
So you find men commenting on advertise-
ments in magazines intended only for the eyes of
their wives and failing to see advertisements
in business men's magazines. And you hear
women describing products advertised to their
husbands. People simply don't behave accord-
ing to specifications.
When advertising can drop all human beings
into their proper filing envelopes and can ar-
range to be seen only under the most auspicious
circumstances, then copy will have its true test.
Meanwhile progress is being made. An ad-
vertisement does its best to select its own audi-
ence by its looks. Just the appearance of an ad-
vertisement will attract some people and repel
others. If the right ones are attracted and the
wrong ones are repelled, or left neutral, a good
start has been made. Advertisers know this and
Where is Advertising Going ? 241
practice it. The same piece of copy would not
be inserted in the Ladies' Home Journal and,
say, the Police Gazette. But too often the dif-
ference between audiences is not sufficiently ap-
preciated. And one of the most wholesome
trends of advertising is to adapt the looks and
sound of an advertisement to the type of person
who is believed to dominate the medium's circu-
The readers of some magazines seem to have
formed the habit of sending for booklets. The
readers of other magazines very rarely write for
anything. If the same advertisement is ad-
dressed to both audiences, it is wrong in one case
or the other. One direction in which advertis-
ing is going is toward greater appropriateness
of appeal. Special copy is being prepared for
each audience. The good old days of slamming
the same piece of copy into magazines entering,
respectively, the front and back door of a house
is fortunately passing. An advertiser may want
the good will of both car owners and chauffeurs,
but he talks to each man in his own language.
One of the editors of a metropolitan news-
paper was talking about his plans for reorgani-
242 Making Advertisements
" We have some good actors here," he said.
" We have some good scenery and the music is
all right and the libretto is fair. But Goodness
knows we haven't a show!''
In the advertising business we have some ex-
cellent fundamentals. We have many trust-
worthy practises and a growing set of proved
truths and an accumulating code of ethics. But
Goodness knows we haven't a science.
It's too young, this business of advertising, to
be classed as a science. It covers the whole
range of human emotions and is subject to every
whim and caprice of human nature.
Advertising men are still alive — very much
alive, some of them — who can remember a time
when the present ideas of agency service were
unknown. And yet, young as advertising is,
those who have been working with it as it has
progressed are apt to take for granted too much
knowledge of it on the part of the public. Much
as it affects their lives, people haven't yet ac-
cepted many of the most commonplace phases
At a dinner party the other evening a woman
of broad general tastes expressed herself very
forcibly on the subject of carrying over fiction
Where is Advertising Going ? 243
into the advertising pages. To advertising men
this discussion is a very old story. Half a dozen
years ago there were vigorous discussions on both
sides. Many advertisers favored the carry-over
method and many remained loyal to the solid ad-
vertising section. Both principles have shown
that they can make advertising pay. And yet
here was this magazine reader opening up the
subject as if it never had been mentioned before.
She didn't like to hunt through the advertising
pages for the continuation of her stories and she
thought the practise ought to be stopped, and
that was all there was to it!
A couple across the table chimed in to say that
they didn't mind having their fiction split by ad-
vertisements, but what they disliked was seeing
billboards along a railroad. There ought to be
a law, they thought, to give the man uninter-
rupted view of the Jersey marshes. Here, too,
the subject was approached in the manner of
The other day there was a very interesting ar-
ticle in Printer s Ink about baths. Do people
really take a bath every day? Apparently a
great share of our countrymen do not. One
thing or another seems to interfere. If that is
244 Making Advertisements
true, why should the soap manufacturers con-
cern themselves with advancing arguments for
this brand of soap or that when what seems to be
needed is an educational campaign for just soap?
How many men put on a clean shirt and a clean
collar every day? How many men are careful
about keeping their shoes polished?
In a word, there are scores of fundamentals
about human habits toward advertising and ad-
vertised products which most advertisers are too
busy to consider. And why go after the market
in the interior of South America when there are
a dozen markets twice as big on your own door-
In a single issue of a newspaper you will find
advertisers in many stages of development. The
keen, well-displayed, thoughtful advertisement
of the seasoned manufacturer appears beside the
old-fashioned " card " of the firm that remains
backward. The long-pull advertisement of the
firm that is building character over a period of
years, the house that regards advertising as an
investment and treats its appropriation as good-
will insurance, is seen near the ofifer of the retail
store which expects action within a few hours.
A retailer can think of his advertising budget
Where is Advertising Going ? 245
in terms of weeks. He knows from experience
that if he spends $5,000 this week he will turn
over a greater stock so much more rapidly than
he would without advertising that he will get
from the public his money to pay for his adver-
tising before his bills are due.
An institutional advertiser has no such imme-
diate evidence of his advertising's power. He
must have faith sometimes for years until some
day a test comes and he finds that his investment
has rolled up for him a mass of good will behind
his trademark which can be destroyed by neither
disaster nor competition.
The time has come when the man who employs
one of these methods is studying the methods of
the other and each is gaining something from
the work that the other has done. The kind of
advertising that Butterick has been doing will
help to educate people to the fundamentals of ad-
vertising itself. More campaigns explaining
the elementary principles of advertising may be
expected, and their value can scarcely be over-
With a closer scrutiny of values in advertising
has come a loosening of the grip held on business
by personal salesmanship. A mediocre idea
246 Making Advertisements
brilliantly presented may seem plausible and
even promising when the presentation is made
by a dominating salesman, but when it goes be-
fore the public without the benefit of its spon-
sor's eloquence the promise is rarely fulfilled.
And when this has been repeated a few times the
advertiser thinks more of his dollars than he does
of the charm of an eloquent salesman. With the
disappearance of superlatives from copy has
come a demand for quiet convincing argument
with something more behind it than a heavy fist
accustomed to rough work on mahogany desk
Magazines which cannot measure up on net
paid circulation and net cost per subscription do
not attract the advertising that used to be started
in their direction at the cocktail hour. The
great little entertainer is not nearly so entertain-
ing as a good A. B. C. report.
With a better understanding will come more
intelligent use of advertising in lines of business
where growth seems to have been stunted. When
the banks discovered that they could advertise
their services without loss of dignity, a new day
began for financial institutions and the hardest
blow in history was struck at the get-rich-quick
Where is Advertising Going ? 247
promoters. For advertising meant the public's
increased interest in the handling of money, and
with greater interest has come more knowledge
and protection against skilful snares.
One of the best New York agencies specializ-
ing in financial accounts has watched the signs
of the times and is equipping itself to sell bonds
and banking service just as bread and spark
plugs are sold. It used to regard the prepara-
tion of advertising copy as something confined
to the up-town agencies, but now it is employing
only writers who have had general experience in
When great industrial houses, such as makers
of factory machinery and equipment, learned
that they could afiford to reach through general
advertising the young executives of today who
would be the chief executives of tomorrow, they
proved the value of a new application of adver-
Yet there are whole industries which are still
in the doldrums. Many of them continue year
after year to make the same mistake: they use
their advertising to talk about what they sell in-
stead of talking about what their products can
do for the people whom they want to reach.
248 Making Advertisements
The book publishers are a capital example.
The opportunity of the book publishers lies in
selling reading, not books, to the people. As a
nation, we have lost the art of reading. One of
the leading booksellers of the country said the
other day that he estimated the number of book
purchasers — consistent book purchasers — in
this country at 200,000. Think of it! Out of
110,000,000 less than one fifth of one per cent
have the reading habit.
The reason is very easy to find. Reading has
been crowded out of the public's attention by
the many other kinds of entertainment and
amusement that are constantly thrust forward.
The movies, the cheaper magazines — and, of
course, it is assumed that the good magazines are
included as much as books when one speaks of
reading — and most of all the newspapers, have
taken the place filled in a more deliberate gener-
ation by good books.
Reading, with the mass of people in large
cities, has become a matter of hurriedly glancing
at morning newspaper headlines, and picking
up and throwing down the editions of evening
papers which begin to appear right after break-
fast. On the ride home at night another eve-
Does Anyone ever get
" too miicK^ Sleep
THE encrpy you can aHord
to spend today i« jint
what you (torcd up last night
in iletp— and b» m»r$.
What you iitcd for deep,
•ound, restful sleep is a quiet,
■teady bed — a bed that in-
cites every dcpt and muscle
Thouunds of people arc
finding in Simmons Beds
deep, quiet sleep for the first
time to their lives.
THE ammonf Met^ Bed
K Simmons Spring is al-
ways resilient and restful—
Dpver tags or bumps.
That i$ why people aleep
(o much better in a Sim-
mons Bed and Spring than in
a wooden bed or ordinary
And that is why Sin^;Ix»n«
Company i> spedalizing ia
Tvin "BtJt. One sleeper
docs not disturb (he other,
or communicate colds and
With the addition of Mat-
tresses to their well-known
Metal Beds and Springs, the
Simmons line is the most
men! in America today— ^/l
Sold in the stores of lead-
ing mcrchaou all over the
Your choice of ver^ beau-
tiful dcsigru in Enameled
Steel and Lacquered Brass —
at prices little if anj higher
than for ordinary beds.
And when yoa are select-
ing your Simmons Beds with
an eye to their appearance in
the room, you will sec that
Simmons has for the first
time established beautiful and
SMiheriuiive design in Metal
Ltijint Miiical JvirmmU nU Huitk Mtttximn StJ
Siftrtti BtJt tnj SmaJ SUtf.' ' Fm if ihsrft.
mZAaSTB ATLA!<TA EENOSBA SMS nuNCBCO VtSCtt&L
No. 4369—01 Twin Pair
l^r <J Summons' rxf^>-tr*d« BrsaaTaUitf*
«f k«avy t— tu roionnf (/ cc ^o gi tnm 4tnum^,
fr«« urxKfik tad n^i^ij.
Cs^vuiictr fiaisb«d ia Lac^ntf.
Hu ik« S'matemfMitmti pta-4 kkI M/>»
Lu Ctmtr tutti. Eur roJUac caaan,
Y<>» ck<>r< o< Tw.n Pat aad DsiiMi Wi4U
Built for Sleep
How muck stronger it was for the Simmons Company to sell Sleep than
to use its space to harp on those three old stand-bys — materials, workman-
ship and price!
250 Making Advertisements
ning paper is scanned as the train or car lurches
around corners. Even if sustained newspaper
reading is done, what does the reader get?
For the past few months six out of seven front
page columns have been given over to industrial
unrest. It's not the fault of the newspapers.
The reds and the strikers have made the news.
The newspapers have printed it. They can't
print stories about factories where contented
workers are steadily keeping at the jobs. That
is not news. How would it look if you saw on
your front page a headline reading, " Perfect
Contentment Reigns in Bridgeport Factories!"
The newspaper reader would say " Huh! what
of it? " He wants thrills, battle, murder and
Only a newspaper with features of the maga-
zine type or with a brilliant editorial page can
give a reader more than a reflection of the un-
common things done by common people or the
common things done by uncommon people.
Uncommon people do so few uncommon things.
And the common things done by common people
are not news.
And right there lies the duty of the book pub-
lisher. There are probably 90,000,000 Ameri-
Where is Advertising Going? 251
cans who don't want strikes. But they are not so
vocal as those who do. The result is that the
small minority monopolizes our front pages.
Why should labor agitators start papers of their
own? They have appropriated the self-respect-
ing press by virtue of the news that they create.
Book publishers have been trying to sell books,
and almost without exception they will tell you
that their experience has not been satisfactory.
They have been setting aside five hundred dol-
lars or five thousand or fifteen thousand for the
advertising of this book or that one.
Then they take small space, prominently dis-
play the author^s name if he is popular or the
book's name if he isn't, add a sentence or two
quoted from favorable book reviews and call it
What earthly difiference does it make whether
the Philadelphia Ledger says, " Rattling good
yarn," or the Rochester Democrat declares,
*^ No finer piece of work has come from Miss
Killkenny's pen " ?
Would your wife buy a new soup if she knew
nothing about it except the looks of the container
and if some soup critic merely said, '^ Very tasty,
indeed '' ?
252 Making Advertisements
Not on your trade-marked success! She buys
the new soup because the soupmaker sells appe-
tite. Husband will smack his lips when he
tramps in on a frosty winter night and finds a
spicy plate of soup smoking-hot on the dinner
How have the player-piano people and the
phonograph people put their products into the
amazing number of homes in which you find
them today? By selling mahogany cases la-
belled with the maker's name? Not much! By
The book publishers must go behind the offer-
ing stage — and sell. They must create a want
of which the public isn't conscious and then fill
How? Well, here are some random sugges-
The sales methods applied to business books
are a conspicuous exception. They are sold by
making a man realize that there is something
lacking in his equipment — something which a
course of training can supply.
In only one or two instances is culture sold as
business training is sold today. Do you ever get
tired of the conversation in your circle of
Where is Advertising Going? 253
friends? What is talked about? Suppose you
live in the suburbs. After you have covered the
children and the new people in the community,
how much money So-and-So is making, what
scores you all make at golf, what new car you
are going to buy, how the tax rate and the cost
of living are going up, the new plays, the world's
series, who has had trouble about maids, your
garden, the dinner where somebody was very
amusing, and the change in the time-tables —
what else is left? It varies in different com-
munities, but the range is not apt to be greater.
Run it up and down the social scale and only
the subjects will change. The people who talk
or think about things more important than these
are hard to find.
Suppose more publishers did as only one or two
are doing now — the one or two who are selling
culture by mail-order advertising, where results
are closely checked and every piece of copy must
pay. Suppose they sold reading as a force in
national life, a force for culture and breadth of
vision and information. How well informed
are most people now when they toss off an
opinion on a really vital issue and toss it off with
as much assurance as if they had really dug out
254 Making Advertisements
the facts? Suppose the publishers stuck to it
until they made a real dent in the conventional
habit of letting somebody else do the thinking.
Suppose it actually became fashionable to know
instead of to guess, and to know about something
worth while instead of restricting one's store of
facts to a superficial knowledge of things that do
not matter a continental. Could people, in the
mass, be swayed this way and that as readily as
they are today?
Or, again, suppose the publishers sold the joy
of a crackling open fire, a wing arm chair, a
fragrant pipe, a shaded light — and a Stevenson
novel. Suppose Dickens were brought out
afresh at the holidays and the charm and laugh-
ter and quaintness of English inns and stage-
coach days were put in place of Freddy Rasp-
bury's latest appeal to sex.
Why should the publishers feel that new
books, however poor, must always be brought
out to supersede old books, however good? If
a book is sound and true and fine, why stop ad-
vertising it as soon as only 5,000 people have
bought it when perhaps 50,000 would buy it if
they got around to hearing about it?
When you go into a book shop today you
Where is Advertising Going ? 255
probably get a flash of recognition as you name
the book you want, for the people you meet in
bookshops rank high in education and intelli-
gence; but almost always the clerk returns with
your book and asks: '' Is there anything else?"
As a useful public service, why shouldn't the
purchaser be interested in another book? Good
books on worth while subjects are being written
constantly. The publishers say they don't sell.
Why on earth should they? Nobody hears
about them unless a friend happens to speak
about one or unless he happens to run across a
review which really says something — not the
blurbs used in publishers' advertising but the
inviting descriptions which sometimes creep into
the book pages, especially when Heywood
Broun's name is at the top of the column.
Buying a book is an effort for most people.
Why doesn't some bookseller make it easy?
Why doesn't some bookseller ask his regular
customers to let him send them one good book
every month? If they didn't like the looks of
what he sent, the books could be returned. The
houses selling books by mail find that a mighty
small share of sets sent on approval are ever re-
turned. People keep them and pay for them.
256 Making Advertisements
Suppose the men and women in book-shops
studied the types of their customers and men-
tally classified each person as he approached.
After his wants were supplied suppose the clerk
used the methods that are employed by sales-
people in the best of the Fifth Avenue shops
where jewelry and furs and other luxuries are
sold. A man goes into one of those shops intend-
ing to have his watch regulated or to have a rip
in his fur coat sewed up and he comes out with
a platinum dinner ring for his wife or a scarf
and muff for his daughter. The trouble is that
books are sold like necessities. They are: but
they ought to be sold like luxuries — persua-
There is enough good sound common sense
and valuable information on the bookshelves of
any American city to knock the menace of radi-
calism into a cocked hat. But it is a secret
among book publishers.
Strangely enough, magazines and newspaper
publishers as a class are almost as backward.
There are a few shining exceptions — publishers
who have built and are continuing to build sound
reputations, a constant following among readers,
and a sustained patronage from advertisers; but
Where is Advertising Going ? 257
you can count them on the fingers of both hands
without using your thumbs.
Most publishers of periodicals know a lot
about advertising. They teach their own repre-
sentatives to go out and sell space constructively
to the manufacturers of the country. And this
knowledge leads them, at stated intervals, to
draw up and consider some very workmanlike
advertising plans. But when it comes to putting
into practise the ideas which they habitually lay
before manufacturers — ideas which they know
to be successful if they read their own advertis-
ing pages — they pause on the brink, shudder,
and decide that the water is too cold.
Publishers are not alone in backwardness.
There are other industries which might be de-
scribed. The reason that publishers are men-
tioned is that they are so close to advertising
that they ought to know it better, and their op-
portunity is so obviously worth while.
The increased use of some commodities might
have debatable value to the country, but the in-
creased use of books could have but one result.
It is doubtful whether any publisher could go
very far alone. The great need is for a broad,
unselfish, cooperative campaign as intelligently
2S8 Making Advertisements
planned and faithfully executed as the collective
campaigns of the citrous fruit growers of the
West, the florists, the lumber people and more
recently the railway executives, the canners and
— yes, the churches of the country.
Advertising in the next few years will see
many more campaigns of common interest un-
less all the signs fail. There is a marked tend-
ency among institutions of many sorts to say:
^' Here we have a story too big for any one of
us to tell alone. Anything that benefits one of
us will benefit us all. The public has never been
told what barriers we have surmounted, what
accomplishments we have reached. Let's not
boast; let's explain."
There is much to be said for the collective
campaign. It offers an opportunity to speak
for a whole industry and many a man will per-
mit his industry to describe a situation of which
he alone would hesitate to speak. The burden
is carried on many shoulders and there is prog-
ress without individual hardship.
If one fruit grower were to spend a few cents
per crate in single-handed advertising, he
wouldn't spread his story far beyond his own
door-yard. He would be in the position of the
Where is Advertising Going? 259
retailer before the day national advertising
helped to make any real impression upon the
public's buying habits. But several thousand
fruit growers, pooling their few cents per crate,
can make a market. And the opportunity which
has been realized by the cooperative few will be
seized in coming years by many more industries.
The other day some advertising men were
wondering how far this cooperative trend would
go. Why should it be limited to merchants in
one line of business? Some one recalled a time
a few years ago when a pancake flour maker and
a sirup manufacturer shared the same billboard.
That led to the suggestion that some day an enter-
prising agency might produce a triplet cam-
paign for a razor manufacturer, a shaving brush
maker and a shaving soap firm. In the present
campaigns of each one of these three advertisers
the products of the other two are shown — un-
labelled, it is true, but shown just the same to
help tell the story. Why not label them?
The idea suggests interesting possibilities.
Why shouldn't a man's hat, collar, tie, suit,
gloves and shoes be advertised in one advertise-
ment — each one a trademarked product iden-
tified instead of merely helping to supply the
26o Making Advertisements
background? Think of an automobile adver-
tisement with everything labelled from top to
When one firm makes several products it fre-
quently advertises two or more in the same piece
of copy. Why shouldn't the same policy be
followed when the products are made by differ-
Even granting that an equitable division of
prominence, satisfactory to both or all, could be
obtained, there is another objection which is
probably responsible for the absence of such
advertising. So great is the power of associa-
tion of ideas through advertising that an adver-
tiser will be loath always to show his product
with one certain product in another line lest the
public come to think that his product could be
used with that one and no other. The razor
maker wants his razor used with all manner of
brushes and shaving soap. Why should he limit
the public's conception to only one? And there
Yet it is possible that this fear of what the
public might think may follow many other buga-
boos which have been sent to oblivion in recent
years. It used to be generally believed that the
Where is Advertising Going ? 261
only safe way for a manufacturer to tell his story
was to get a newspaper to give him a write-up.
He was perfectly willing to pay a press agent al-
most anything to get something into the papers
about himself. Today the use of free publicity
is being confined more and more to telling the
legitimate news of an undertaking. And adver-
tising is being used when a firm or an institution
wants to go squarely before the public with an
Standards of advertising judgment are becom-
ing more definitely fixed. With the increasing
number of capable men who are devoting them-
selves to typography and with the trend of good
artists toward advertising illustration, it is in-
evitable that there will be more schools of com-
mercial designing. Reasons for arrangement
will be better understood and advertisers will
not be so quick to say, '' I don't like that; I don't
know why, but I just don't."
A little knowledge is just as dangerous in the
criticism of designs as it is in the criticism of
copy. When it is understood that there is a
syntax of design and that certain rules govern
arrangement and that these rules are not to be
violated by the free-hand use of shears and paste,
262 Making Advertisements
much will have been accomplished toward clean-
ing up the looks of the advertising pages.
Already the advocates of deliberately bad
grammar in advertising are disappearing.
There was a brief vogue for the type of copy
which looked as if it had been clawed out of
stone by some one with his naked hands. Its
chief enthusiasts claimed for it the ring of sin-
cerity, which it frequently possessed. But that
was its sole virtue.
''Never mind grammar — get results!" was
the exhortation of this school of copy writers.
Every writer of advertising has received the
condolences of his friends for not being allowed
to write what he really wants to express. Yet
mighty few writers of advertising can say that
anybody ever told them not to write so well.
Alexander Woollcott, dramatic critic of the
New York Times, complains that people often
say to him : '' It must be very trying not to be
able to write as you like — to be limited by the
policy of your paper." It annoys him because
he says he has never been told how to write and
he is writing the best he knows how!
Advertising today is attracting writers of
greater ability than ever before. It is attracting
Advertising agents have
grown with advertising
The Philadelphia bunuftcturef who
atert apon advertisin2 now cao do to
with as auurauce of success neater
tten has ever before been possible.
The ploo«eriii£ has been done for
Yean of constant activity and steady
protest liave made every factor in ad-
Wtisinft more effective, mors certain.
The leading publications today opea
up a more intensive market, with cir-
culations tiiat can be traced and meas-
ured, with an influence tliat is kaowo
Readers are lending a. keentf atteo-
tkni: to the advertising pages.
Merchants realize better the power
t>f advertising and are swayed by it.
Saleameo Icnow bow to grasp it and
•PPly it to their own selling program.
And the men who execute advertis-
lag— the advertiiinA ageats— are more
espable than ever.
They have behind them years of
A* the volume and the importance
of advertising liave grown, the agents
iiave grown. The demands it has made
upoa them have added to tlieir e<luip«
IDcat, widened tlieir KOpe..
The univertal tpeeding-np of com-
petition has driven home to them A
deeper appreciation of what mutt be
done in order to make advertising pay.
They have teen and shared in the
development of huge selling campaigns
in one field after another. They have
faced new problems and overcome thaok
with sew methods.
Th^ have trained thcmselvee to
apply to one industry the lessons learned
in another. They have concerned
themseIv«snot only with sales, but with
every department of the modern busi-
The advertising agent therefore JS
today in a better position than ever not
only to fortify against mistakes and
eliminate risk, bur to render practical,
constructive help in building a solid,
permanent structure of commercial
There >tre In Philadelphia, as in
other important centers, advertising
agents who are thus skilled, add through
whom the Philadelphia manufacturer
may command the accumulated ex*
perienceand momentuxooi t geoeratioa
THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY
n$ LaHt$' Oimt Jomnd.
n$ Saturday BsttUna Ptttt
When Richard Walsh, now of Barrows ^ Richardson, was with Curtis
he produced a lot of remarkable copy — particularly his series about the
place of Advertising in American business. This was one of that series^
264 Making Advertisements
artists of high technique. It is producing a new-
type of intellectual, cultured business man.
It is developing organizations with the spirit
that once existed in newspaper offices of the tra-
ditional sort where friendships lasted and men
felt affection for the desks and the walls.
There is pride in the work that is done within
these organizations. There are standards that
must be kept, codes that must be observed and
reputations that must be built.
It has been proved in advertising that the
agency which succeeds is the one which devotes
its energies to producing the most valuable serv-
ice for its customers. If profits are the first
consideration, this service suffers. If the service
is put ahead of everything else, the profits take
care of themselves. Already advertising is old
enough to have demonstrated that.
The men who are successfully administering
the expenditure of millions for advertising every
year see that very clearly. They realize what
a privilege it is to have a part in these first years
of advertising. And they are determined that
before they give up their share in its develop-
ment it will be that most thoroughly American of
institutions — a business that is a profession.